Executive Summary – June 2011
IOCC frontliner, Deacon Dan Gray, worked closely with local volunteers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to deliver relief supplies such as tents to thousands of people left homeless by the tornadoes that leveled much of their town. (photo: Dan Gray, IOCC)
From The Executive Director
What would you do if you only had a few minutes warning before disaster struck? Gather your family? Grab your valuables? Or just find a safe place to take shelter? Those were the split second, life changing decisions that faced the tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Springfield, Massachusetts. The Spring of 2011 will go down in US history as one of the most devastating tornado seasons ever, and a sobering reminder that we must be ever vigilant and ever prepared.

IOCC has trained 60 Orthodox clergy and lay persons in the U.S. in disaster preparedness and emergency management. They now form the backbone of the Emergency Response Network and have the concrete skills needed to deal with communities and parishioners in times of crisis, such as the 2011 tornadoes that have killed more than 500 people and left thousands more homeless.

When tornadoes struck Alabama in April, Deacon Daniel Gray, a retired Naval Commander from Eagle River, Alaska, was immediately dispatched there and began working with local Orthodox Christian parishes to assess the damage and provide pastoral care to survivors in the rural towns of northeastern Alabama. Marsha, a Tuscaloosa resident, had never heard of the Orthodox Christian church before the disaster but was thankful for all of the personal hygiene items, tents, air mattresses and flashlights provided by IOCC as well as the pastoral support from our frontliner. "Deacon Dan was like the image of Christ's love amidst all of the wreckage," she recalls.

Responding quickly to victims of disaster with emergency relief and short-term recovery is at the heart of IOCC's mission and what we strive for whenever called upon, by God's grace, without discrimination. We could not do it, however, without the generous and ongoing support of our donors who make the resources available to us when needed, or without the members of our Emergency Response Network who have been specially trained to rise to the challenges that disaster leaves in its wake. To you, our supporters, and to our frontliners, we say thank you.

In Christ,

Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director and CEO

For more information about Emergency Preparedness, visit www.iocc.org/emergency

Through your generous support, IOCC continues to work with partner agencies to clear away the mountains of debris covering what were once homes and businesses. (photo: Thomas Ahern, US NAVY)
Japan Tsunami Response
The people of Japan continue to rebuild their lives three months after a devastating earthquake and tsunami left 500,000 Japanese homeless, and IOCC continues to help in the recovery. Working with relief partner Peace Boat, IOCC has provided the resources for 2,000 volunteers to assist with clearing debris, providing hot meals and meeting the critical needs for food and non-food items to residents in Ishinomaki city of Miyagi Prefecture.

Through your quick and generous support, IOCC turned compassion into action with $350,000 contributed towards direct relief assistance and for the efforts to provide housing for as many as 1,000 families. Additional assistance has been provided directly through the Orthodox Church in Japan.

For more information, click here.

Thousands of health kits like these assembled by volunteers at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Baltimore were sent to victims of the tornadoes that swept through Southbridge, Massachusetts, and surrounding towns. (photo: Megan Carniewski, IOCC)
Southbridge Tornado Response
After a series of seven tornadoes destroyed homes, bridges and businesses over a 38-mile swath of towns in the area of Springfield, Massachusetts, IOCC immediately deployed Emergency Response Network frontliner, Father Peter Preble of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge, Massachusetts, to the disaster scene. Father Preble, who is also a trained firefighter, provided spiritual comfort to the tornado victims as he assessed the immediate needs of the survivors and assisted in the relief efforts. IOCC responded by delivering two 40-foot containers filled with 5,500 health kits, drinking water, sanitary wipes, personal hygiene supplies and hospital blankets.

For more information, click here.

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