Thursday, September 13, 2012

Last round!

  I know it's been awhile since I've posted! I got back from disaster deployment saturday night and stayed at perry point until yesterday. Soon I'll post journal entries I kept from while on deployment (they're quite lengthy so I haven't been able to type them all up yet).
   Anyways, yesterday we left for our last project for the year. We are currently (and will be staying for the next 7 and a half weeks) in Schoharie County, NY which is about 60 miles west of Albany. We are working with an organization called Schoharie Area Long Term (SALT) as well as several other grassroots disaster recovery groups. We are helping to repair (as well as demo) homes that were affected or destroyed by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year. Schoharie County is made up of a lot of small farming towns, so we are really rural but the people here already seem super nice and I'm looking forward to be actually getting into the community this round.
   Since last year's storms have made its way out of the news headlines for some time now, it's easy to think that everyone just came together and got everything fixed, but this area still needs a lot of help. There are so many homes that are still in the process of being rebuilt and some homes haven't even been touched because of inaccessibility. A lot of homeowners that lived along the creek that flooded now live in tent trailers or FEMA trailers. One of our sponsors took us on a tour of the north part of the county and showed us where homes and trailer parks used to be that are now wide open spaces because they were washed out. It's really hard to imagine the scale of devastation that occurred, but you can see from the people who tell their stories that it's very vivid in their minds. Our team is definitely glad to be able to help.
   Today we started the process of demoing a house! It's really good to know that every ounce of effort put into this community is going to make a real difference. This is definitely a good project and we are also making a documentary of our team and the disaster recovery organizations in the area. 
   We are definitely in the country, people drive their tractors on the road, one of these days we may be stuck behind a horse and buggy because of the Amish communities up here, there are a ton of little small towns with hills and farmlands. I love this area though it's beautiful! There are also a ton of waterfalls and the stars here are so clear.
  As we progress in this project I will update more!
                                                                         Until Then,
                                                                    <3 Heather G

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Turn of events!!!!

  So Wednesday I recieved news that I would be deployed on disaster! I left on a flight to memphis on thursday and drove down to Hattiesberg, Mississippi. Things have been really crazy right now! Yesterday my team (my disaster team) did bulk distribution yesterday in Gulfport (chaos in itself) and right now we;re waiting to drive to Wilkinson County, Mississippi to see if Red Cross relief efforts are needed there as Red Cross hasn't been in contact with the county so who knows what we'll run into.
    My phone broke (yet again, I shouldn't even own a pone anymore) but I bought a camera so at least I have a way to take pictures. I'm getting a really good experience here and already learning a lot (especially to be VERY flexible) keeping an up to date journal of this deployment so I'll be more detailed when I have more time and internet, which I'm not sure when that will be.

                                                                      Until Then,
                                                                  <3 Heather G.