2017 is in the books, and it proved to be a year like none NECHAMA has seen before. In addition to a number of smaller events responded to, NECHAMA:
- Responded to two concurrent Category 4 Hurricanes (Harvey and Irma), which has never happened in NECHAMA’s history.
- Spent over a month in Seneca, MO after historic floods engulfed the town, and communities surrounding it.
- Assisted with historic floods in Central Michigan after communities failed to receive sufficient assistance.
- Conducted four direct response trips to Waseca, MN to help elderly and disabled residents after they received an unprecedented 13+ inches of rain in under 48 hours.
Over the course of 12 Months, NECHAMA:
- Assisted 297 homes.
- Had staff actively deployed for 346 days.
- Engaged over a thousand volunteers in our response, rebuild, and preparedness training projects – resulting in more than 23,000 hours of service.
- Invested over $1.2M into storm-affected communities.
- For every dollar donated and spent, $1.63 was invested into affected communities.
As we look ahead to 2018, NECHAMA is working on plans to continue to expand our national and regional roles in disaster response, rebuild, and preparedness training. Those plans include:
- Moving our Texas response program from Houston to the Golden Triangle of Texas.
- Launching a Houston Rebuild program in late February, starting with an Alternative Spring Break for 40-60 college students for 5 weeks.
- Exploring opportunities to open permanent offices outside the Upper Midwest, increasing our staff footprint.
- Expanding and modernizing our response fleet.
- Exploring a potential Puerto Rico Rebuild Project in cooperation with FEMA and other partners in March/April.
- Assessing the possibility of a Florida Rebuild Project to continue providing assistance in communities we have assisted in a response capacity for the last 4 months.
As the staff and board continue to look for ways to expand our mission, assist more families, and engage volunteers and communities, I invite you to sign up for our newsletter to receive our latest updates. Consider volunteering with NECHAMA, and/or make a donation today.