Mennonite Disaster Service Canada Keeping Eye on Hurricane Dorian
As Americans watch and wait for Hurricane Dorian’s landfall, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada is keeping an eye on the storm, too.
The organization, which rebuilds and repairs homes destroyed or damaged by natural disasters in the U.S. and Canada, is “ready to respond” when the storm is over says Ross Penner, executive director of MDS Canada.
“Working with our American colleagues, and following invitations from local officials, we will send in assessment teams to see how we can help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the hurricane,” he says.
This process can take time, he adds, since devastated areas need to be safe for assessment teams to go in.
“We are ready to respond if asked,” he says, noting that MDS Canada’s unique role is long-term recovery — coming in after the disaster to do restoration work.
In the meantime, MDS is busy responding to needs from earlier disasters such as hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Michael, California wildfires and flooding in Grand Forks, B.C.
“A year from now, there’s a good chance we will be responding to Hurricane Dorian, depending on what happens over the next few days,” says Penner.
Donations send to MDS Canada will be used for Dorian or other disaster responses, he adds, noting the organization also needs volunteers for ongoing projects.
To make a donation, or learn about volunteer opportunities, go to www.MDS.mennonite.net or call 1.866.261.1274.
MDS Canada is the national disaster response arm of Canadian Mennonite churches.
Working with Mennonite churches in the U.S., last year 5,203 volunteers, including about 700 from Canada, gave 48,041 days at 15 projects sites in six states and one province to build 74 new homes and repair 272 houses. Total value of the work was $12,674,917 CDN.