NW Storms: World Vision responds to snow, flooding, outages

World Vision is responding to victims of severe weather across the northwest United States by delivering supplies such as blankets, coats, hygiene supplies, and flood cleanup kits.

Story by Laura Reinhardt. Photos by Reed Slattery.
Published January 20, 2012 at 12:00am PST

Storms this week in the northwestern United States covered Washington state with ice and flooded Oregon towns and rivers. Temperatures in the region are warming, but thousands of people remain without power after snow and ice downed trees and power lines. Governors Gregoire (Washington) and Kitzhaber (Oregon) both declared states of emergency.

Power-outages take greatest toll on low-income families

World Vision is responding by distributing coats, jackets, hygiene kits, and water to some of our community partners in the hardest hit areas of Seattle. World Vision is particularly concerned about the most vulnerable population, among them children and seniors, who could be without power beyond the weekend.

For most people, a power outage is an uncomfortable inconvenience. But for families living in poverty or from paycheck to paycheck, it can be a calamity. A natural disaster can stretch already-thin resources to the breaking point.

"With hundreds of thousands of Puget Sound residents without power, it is easy to forget that even homeless shelters are without heat or electricity, putting the most vulnerable at risk," says Reed Slattery, World Vision's Pacific Northwest site manager.  "One of our partners which provides shelter for homeless women and children has been struggling without power since Wednesday evening." 

“The families we’re trying to serve are the most vulnerable,” says Reed. “We’re getting them what they need to make it through this time.”

World Vision responds

World Vision has distributed essential supplies in lower-income neighborhoods hit hard by the storms. Supplies include 200-300 cases of water, 200 cases of warm clothing, 60 cases of blankets, and 44 cases of personal hygiene kits  — items especially needed by families living without power.

With more rain expected this weekend and flood worries rising, World Vision is readying pallets of cleaning supplies such as mops, disinfectant, soap, trash bags, and floor cleaner. World Vision is reaching out to a network of community partners throughout the Pacific Northwest to assess the damage and greatest needs.

World Vision began serving people in need in the Pacific Northwest in 1990. Last year World Vision worked with nearly 500 partners to serve more than half a million people in the Northwest with essential supplies, building materials, youth empowerment projects, and help for students and teachers in low-income schools.

How you can help

Pray for families in the Pacific Northwest who are hampered by the snow and floods. Pray especially for the most vulnerable, including children and seniors.

Donate to provide $150 worth of basics to U.S. children for only $25. Your gift helps deliver basics like new clothing, diapers, blankets, and shoes to help American children in poverty. Thanks to corporate product donations, your gift will multiply 6 times in value!