Kentucky experienced a record-breaking flooding event this past year. Heavy rains caused major flood events in Eastern Kentucky, a region that has suffered three floods in less than a 12-month period. There was a total of 49 counties that issued disaster declarations. The storm event produced 4-7 inches of rain across a wide stretch of the state that pushed the rivers to levels not witnessed in decades. The Red River overflowed from its banks and rose past 8.5 feet above the flood stage. The Kentucky river also overflowed over 11.5 feet above the flood stage. Fire and safety crews rescued hundreds of families across the hardest hit counties.
Residents say the flooding overwhelming their communities was the worst in almost 40 years. Many people were completely washed out of their homes and have not been able to return due to the damage caused by the flooding. A large percentage of the survivors are not physically able to do the labor type of work needed to help them return to a safe and secure home. Some struggle to afford building supplies for the immense number of repairs.
But Kentuckians are resilient. Disaster response and emergency management are not only the responsibility of government but also of every community. One organization in particular that has answered the call for action is the Disaster Service Corp Society of St. Vincent De Paul USA (DSC SVDP-USA). The DSC SVDP-USA is the perfect example of private sector leadership serving and leveraging the power of Americanism and faith to approach communities impacted by disaster with compassion and competence. The Disaster Services Corporation (DSC) is a Catholic lay organization that helps people in situational poverty as a result of natural and man-made disasters get their lives back in order.
About the Parish Recovery Assistance Center (P-RAC)
DSC is supporting local, state, and federal agency responses to recent flood events in the state and determined the best way to aid local efforts is to focus on immediate and emergent needs. Disaster Services Corporation is meeting those needs by working with survivors to apply for FEMA and State Disaster benefits and will have other resources available. One essential deployment team will be gathering in the state from Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. They will be operating in partnership with Catholic Charities, the Diocese of Lexington, and the Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (KYVOAD).
Disaster survivors will need to bring an ID and can be assisted if they have suffered losses in one of the disaster-impacted counties.
Locations, Dates, and Hours of Operation
Location: Holy Family Parish, Booneville, KY.
Address: 1439 KY Highway 11S, Booneville, KY 41314
Dates: May 24-26
Hours: 9AM – 4PM on Mon and Tue; 9AM – 3PM on Wed
Location: St. Michael’s Parish, Paintsville, KY
Address: 720 Washington Ave., Paintsville, KY 41240
Dates: May 27-28
Hours: 9AM – 4PM on Thu; 9AM – 4PM on Fri
“Our Parish Recovery Assistance Centers will be providing person to person services, utilizing COVID-19 safety protocols, for Kentucky homeowners and renters who sustained losses from the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides from Feb. 27 through March 14, 2021 in several counties in Southeastern Kentucky. Disaster Services Corp, Society of St. Vincent de Paul assists families in long term recovery by helping them navigate state and federal benefits, referrals and disaster resources. We are grateful for the support of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, KY, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Lexington and Kentucky VOAD for collaborating with us on the P-RACs”, said Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO DSC SVDP-USA.
The Disaster Services Corp., SVDP-USA is fueled by Vincentians from around the country, however we also rely on the kindness and giving from monetary donations. To support our efforts please visit our donations page and help us grow our impact in those communities most vulnerable. Our donation page can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Ml1lO4.
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents.
With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals nearly 100,000 in 4,400 communities. SVDP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility assistance. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly. Over the past year, SVDP provided over $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 1.8 million personal visits (homes, hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities) and helped more than 23.8 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a founding member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and its Disaster Services Corporation provides relief and recovery to disaster survivors across the United States and American Territories.