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World Vision remembers & responds: How Hurricane Katrina became the ‘game-changer’ for today’s hurricane responses

  • 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina remembered by World Vision staff as the ‘game-changer’ for domestic disaster responses.
  • Hurricane Isaac text donation campaign: Text "GIVEUSA" to 777444 to make a $10 donation to World Vision's disaster response.

Media Contacts:

Phyllis Freeman
Domestic Disaster Director (North Texas)

214.244.9196 (c)
  Mindy Mizell
Media Relations Director (NYC)

202.355.3690 (c)

Dallas, TX (August 29, 2012) — On this seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, World Vision staff are remembering its impact while responding to the latest hurricane to pummel the Gulf coast. Hurricane Isaac made landfall earlier today causing flooding and bringing heavy rainfall and winds throughout the New Orleans area and other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

World Vision is responding with emergency food kits, blankets, and other essential supplies but fortunately Hurricane Isaac isn’t nearly as damaging as what we saw seven years ago,” said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s Domestic Disaster Director. “Hurricane Katrina was so devastating that it not only forever impacted us as individuals but it changed the way our organization now responds to all domestic disasters here in the United States.”

In 2005, the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision responded to Hurricane Katrina by opening a temporary 40,000-square-foot distribution center in Mississippi where $8.2 million in goods were distributed to more than 318,000 survivors.

World Vision's Domestic Disaster Director, Phyllis Freeman, works in a temporary supplies distribution warehouse set up for Hurricane Katrina seven years ago. (Photo: Paul Peck/World Vision)
Freeman, a veteran aid worker, was among those with World Vision called upon to respond and says the organization’s strategy to position its Domestic Disaster Headquarters in the Dallas-area near the Gulf coast was a direct result of the lessons learned from Katrina.

“Hurricane Katrina was really the game-changer for World Vision’s domestic disaster strategy,” said Freeman. “Last year, our organization chose to position our response team in a massive warehouse strategically positioned in the Dallas-area and close to the Gulf because now World Vision has thousands of pre-positioned relief supplies ready to deploy instantly. Katrina is why our response team is able to respond to Isaac as quickly as we can today.”

As Hurricane Isaac continues to pass over the Gulf coast, World Vision has launched a multi-state disaster response effort targeting Louisiana and Mississippi survivors. The first wave of relief supplies will deploy from World Vision’s Domestic Disaster Headquarters early Thursday morning for delivery to partnering churches and organizations most impacted.

“Throughout the three years after Hurricane Katrina, World Vision partnered with nearly 300 churches and organizations throughout the Gulf to effectively respond to families left essentially homeless,” said Freeman. “We are confident our response to Isaac will be extremely impactful because we are teaming up with many of those same partners World Vision worked with years ago.”

The public can help by visiting www.worldvision.org, calling (888) 56-CHILD (2445), or by texting "GIVEUSA" to 777444 to make a $10 donation to World Vision's disaster response.

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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews

World Vision
Phone: 1-888-511-6548
P.O. Box 9716
Federal Way,WA 98063-9716
© 2015 World Vision Inc.
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