Hurricane Sandy Response

Sandy bulletin insert

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Hurricane Sandy Bulletin Insert

Episcopal Relief & Development has been partnering with dioceses to support communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Caribbean and eastern U.S. in late October 2012. This page is a chronology of press releases and updates on our response efforts, and may be updated periodically as recovery programs continue.

September 9, 2014

Keith Adams, Recovery Coordinator for the Episcopal dioceses of New Jersey and Newark, joins the head of NJ Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and the regional director of the Red Cross on a special Hurricane Sandy feature program on Princeton Community Television.

March 20, 2014

TV station NY1 visits a home rebuild in Staten Island where Disaster Response Coordinator Darrell Hayes and his team of Episcopal Service Corps volunteers have been leading and working on the rehabilitation work.

October 29, 2013

In the 12 months since Hurricane Sandy swept through the Caribbean and hit the eastern coast of the US as a “superstorm” on October 29, 2012, Episcopal Relief & Development has been supporting relief and recovery efforts through Episcopal dioceses in impacted areas. In March 2013, the organization’s US Disaster Program helped establish a regional volunteer coordination system to match mission teams with long-term recovery projects in the dioceses of New York, New Jersey, Newark and Easton. Current recovery work ranges from case management to rebuilding homes.

“The strength of the Episcopal response to Hurricane Sandy is its flexibility,” said Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “We look for where there are gaps in services or people falling through the cracks, and find the niche where the gifts and capabilities of local churches can be used to meet those needs. This looks different in each context, but it helps churches realize their strengths and think how they can continue to reach out to vulnerable people in their communities even after the Sandy recovery work is complete.”

New York: Disaster Response Coordinator Darrell Hayes is managing a team of five Episcopal Service Corps interns who are leading rehabilitation projects on houses in Staten Island that were flooded by the storm. Volunteers are needed to work on these construction projects, doing tasks such as insulation, drywall and debris removal. The Rev. Stephen Harding, also a Disaster Response Coordinator, is promoting disaster preparedness throughout the diocese and liaising with diocesan leadership to ensure the continuation of ongoing recovery projects.

  • Shelby Brown, an Episcopal Service Corps participant interning at Episcopal Relief & Development, writes about working with her fellow interns on their projects in Staten Island.
  • Barb Ballenger, the organization’s US Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, reflects on a conversation she had with two Ghanaian staff members comparing disaster response in Ghana and the United States.

New Jersey: Episcopal Relief & Development is now partnering with the Episcopal Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey on recovery work in impacted areas. The Diocese of Newark will be working in collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey and Disaster Response Coordinator Keith Adams. In Tuckerton, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit is part of an ecumenical group of churches working on rebuilding and restoring flood-damaged homes, largely for low- or fixed-income seniors. In Keansburg, the Center for Community Renewal based at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church continues to feed upwards of 100 individuals every day, and provides opportunities for people to connect with six local social service agencies.

Easton: Disaster Response Coordinator Joe Pinto is working with the local Long Term Recovery Committee on home reconstruction and rehabilitation in hard-hit Crisfield, Maryland. Of the 25 projects the group has taken on, more than a quarter were complete rebuilds, and two of those homes were dedicated on Monday, October 28. Attention focused first on those households that would have greatest difficulty recovering, including elderly or disabled individuals and families with children who had lost everything in the storm. In order to encourage urgently-needed volunteers to come to Crisfield, the committee has adapted two buildings that can collectively house more than 70 people.

Episcopal News Service: Sandy Reflections

October 22, 2013

Episcopal Service Corps intern Shelby Brown blogs about the partnership between Episcopal Service Corps and Episcopal Relief & Development to support Hurricane Sandy recovery in Staten Island through the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

July 16, 2013

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Easton to support Sandy recovery in Crisfield, Maryland. This presentation, created by disaster response volunteers working in Crisfield, gives an overview of the storm’s impact and how faith-based groups from different denominations are working together. It also presents an example of the infrastructure needed to house and equip volunteers, and illustrates levels of storm damage and stages of long-term recovery.

April 30, 2013

Episcopal Relief & Development is currently supporting the work of disaster recovery coordinators in the dioceses of Easton, New Jersey and New York, and has helped establish a regional hub for volunteer coordination that that will connect mission teams with projects in all impacted dioceses. These coordinators are working with Episcopal congregations, ecumenical and community-based groups and a range of government agencies to assess needs and organize response activities.

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November 20, 2012

Eight deacons from the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey gathered at the diocesan center in Trenton on November 19 to learn how to facilitate FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) disaster assistance registration. The training was held by members of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program and Partners in Response team as part of the organization’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

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Week of November 19, 2012:

Week of November 12, 2012:

  • 11/16: Episcopal Relief & Development staff and members of the Partners in Response team visited the Episcopal dioceses of Long Island and New Jersey this week, and diocesan leaders are working regionally, along with Episcopal Relief & Development, to coordinate and plan the next phase of response work.
  • 11/16: Communications Officer Faith Rowold blogs about a visit to Trinity Episcopal Church and St. George’s Regional Disaster Recovery & Community Outreach Center in northeastern Pennsylvania.  Established in response to flooding from Hurricane Irene, St. George’s had made preparations to act as an emergency shelter during Hurricane Sandy.

November 12, 2012

Episcopal Relief & Development is currently supporting temporary housing in the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, and the collection and distribution of supplies in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The organization encourages people in impacted areas to continue reaching out to their vulnerable neighbors and assisting their churches with ongoing relief efforts. Those living outside affected areas can help by making a contribution to the Hurricane Sandy Response Fund, which will support short- and long-term recovery activities as it becomes clearer where the need is greatest.

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Week of November 5, 2012:

  • 11/8: A new PDF resource has been posted: “Tips for Parents in Helping Children and Youth Cope
  • 11/7: Please read the November 7 press release.  The predicted Nor’easter is already bringing snow and cold temperatures to New York and New Jersey, and trees damaged by Superstorm Sandy are falling and taking down power lines.  Please continue to pray for all those impacted by these storms.
  • 11/5: Please read the November 5 press release.  In addition to the activities listed, Episcopal Relief & Development has hosted a coordinating call with leaders from the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

November 2, 2012

November 1, 2012

Episcopal Relief & Development is in close contact with partners in impacted areas of the Caribbean and US East Coast as they assess and begin to respond to community needs.

Katie Mears, Program Manager for US Disaster Preparedness and Response, and the Rt. Rev. Andrew Dietsche are meeting with impacted clergy from the Episcopal Diocese of New York on November 1 to share information, coordinate resources and identify areas of significant need. Mears has also been working with Diocesan Disaster Coordinators in the Episcopal dioceses of Long Island, New Jersey and Newark.

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October 30, 2012

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to reach out to impacted partners in the Caribbean and along the eastern coast of the US.  At least 69 people have died in the Caribbean due to the storm (, and flooding is widespread.  In the US, the storm has killed at least 17 people in six states, and left 6 million without power (

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October 29, 2012

Episcopal Relief & Development has reached out to partners in the Caribbean and along the US East Coast, from the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina to the Diocese of Massachusetts, as they prepare for and respond to Hurricane Sandy. The storm blasted through the Caribbean on October 25, causing property damage and claiming the lives of at least 21 people in Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba, before sweeping north along the eastern coast of the United States. Minor flooding was reported along the North Carolina coast, but the full impact of the hurricane is expected to be felt first in the New Jersey and New York City area in the early afternoon on October 29.

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October 26, 2012

Episcopal Relief & Development has reached out to partners in the path of Hurricane Sandy, which blasted through the Caribbean on October 25, resulting in the deaths of at least 21 people in Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica. The storm is expected to bypass Florida and follow the coast north, making landfall in the Northeast as early as October 28.

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