Samaritan's Purse deploys Disaster Relief Unit to British Columbia floods



    
    Christian relief organization will work with volunteers to aid in flood
    and mudslide recovery
    

    CALGARY, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse Canada is sending its Disaster
Relief Unit to Chilliwack, BC, to help local emergency officials and residents
clean up after heavy snowfalls and torrential rains caused mudslides and
severe overland flooding. More than 200 homes have been damaged - some of them
severely - and at least 64 people have been forced out of their homes.
    Samaritan's Purse Canada's Disaster Relief Unit - a specially equipped
tractor-trailer unit - will arrive Wednesday and become an emergency
operations base in Chilliwack, a city of 76,000 about 100 kilometers east of
Vancouver. Samaritan's Purse will work with local churches, agencies and
volunteers from the region to manage and provide clean-up and other recovery
assistance to residents.
    "The city of Chilliwack is very appreciative of Samaritan's Purse coming
to the forefront to assist us at this time," says James MacDonald, Emergency
Program Coordinator for the City of Chilliwack, who invited Samaritan's Purse
and its Disaster Relief Unit to provide help. "Having personally worked with
their team in Terrace, BC, (after similar flood clean-up in 2007) I know the
work they do is vital in the recovery process."
    Anyone in the Chilliwack area requiring free Samaritan's Purse flood
clean-up help can call 1-604-393-3901.
    The Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief Unit is outfitted with essential
disaster recovery equipment including generators, pumps, hand tools, and
safety gear for volunteers. It serves as a base for volunteer Relief Teams,
and is equipped with a self-contained office, communications system, and other
supplies.
    "Our first focus will be to send volunteers to those most in need - the
elderly, the disabled, or those unable to clean up their homes on their own,"
said Brent Davis, Samaritan's Purse's Relief Teams Coordinator. "But we also
want to be available to anyone who needs any help getting their homes back to
normal."

    Volunteers Needed

    Samaritan's Purse invites volunteers from the BC Lower Mainland to join
its Relief Teams in the Chilliwack area. Volunteers will pump out water,
remove soggy debris, treat homes for mould, and other recovery work. They will
be lent safety equipment, and receive free on-site training. To volunteer,
please call 1-604-393-3901.

    Donations Needed

    Donations are needed regularly to help stock and maintain the Disaster
Relief Unit so it can be deployed quickly wherever needed. The unit has served
alongside Relief Teams after floods in New Brunswick and Wisconsin in 2008 and
northern BC in 2007, and after Hurricane Katrina along the U.S, Gulf Coast in
2005. To support the unit's ongoing work, call 1-800-663-6500 or visit
www.samaritanspurse.ca (click on "Donate").

    About Samaritan's Purse Canada

    Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and
development organization working in about 70 countries to provide aid to
victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The
Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child
program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world
each year, and the Turn on the Tap initiative that raises funds for
life-saving BioSand Water Filters the developing world. Go to
www.samaritanspurse.ca for more information.





For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Martin Silbernagel,
Communications Advisor, 1-800-663-6500 or (403) 708-9667 (cell),
msilbernagel@samaritan.org


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