Oklahoma Relief Activities Final Update
PBV’s representatives have returned to Japan after assisting with relief efforts in the wake of the tornadoes and severe weather that claimed over 20 lives and caused widespread damage in Oklahoma earlier this year.
Having dispatched personnel to New York post-Hurricane Sandy over a 5-month period in late 2012, this was the second time that PBV has had boots on the ground in the US after a natural disaster.
Our team was based in Moore, a leafy suburb of Oklahoma City with a population of 55, 000, where temperatures soared to almost 40 degrees Celsius. Despite the sweltering heat, thousands of volunteers from across the US poured into the area in the weeks and months following the EF-5 tornado that wreaked havoc in and around Moore on 20th May 2013.
Over the course of two weeks, our team assisted local relief organisations in the coordination of volunteers, helped conduct necessary administrative tasks and worked in the field, removing debris and cleaning up around damaged homes.
Working with a range of organisations, from local, grass-roots groups (e.g. Serve Moore) to governmental bodies (e.g. FEMA), PBV helped fill gaps that appeared due to lack of personnel and helped local organisations manage disaster relief volunteers effectively.
As the transition from emergency assistance to long-term recovery takes place, the needs and activities on the ground will also undoubtedly experience a shift. While debris removal was one of the major relief activities in the initial stage, more organisations are now focusing on rebuilding and reconstruction work.
PBV has decided to support one of these organisations, Serve Moore, in their aim of rebuilding houses for local families. Serve Moore has recruited, coordinated and dispatched thousands of volunteers and serves as the main volunteer reception centre in the area.
We have decided to donate the remaining $2000 from our Oklahoma Relief fund, gathered through the kindness and generosity of our supporters, to this organisation and the incredible work they are doing for the people of Moore.
While recovery and reconstruction is expected to continue for at least the next couple of years, there is a strong feeling around town that Moore will be rebuilt bigger, better and “Moore Strong” than ever before.
We will continue to cherish our relationships with individuals and organisations in the area into the future and would like to thank all of our kind supporters for making this project possible.