My illustration shows the location of FEMA's possible perimeter emergency feeding centers in relation to Oak Hill, WV in Fayette County. This post was originally published on 7/3/12 at 12:41 p.m. and last updated at 4:40 p.m. At 9:00 a.m. July 4 via a friend I received an update from John David, that the National Guard is helping, so read the latest on what is needed here on how you can help one group. I need to check with other sources before I finish this post regarding FEMA.
Please continue to spread the word via emails, twitter, Facebook and aggregators. I've revised the sample tweets:
#Appalachia #WV #Derecho #FEMA site near PGA resort on disaster perimeter? http://bit.ly/LNBfkC
Here's a shortened link for the public facebook post to share:
Jim Justice II made a lot of his income from selling his coal mines in West Virginia and then turned around and bought (hey, maybe even rescued) The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulpher Springs in 2009. He managed to recruit Tiger Woods to play in the PGA tournament taking place there starting July 5. Since many of Justice's mines were involved mtr mining and selenium pollution suits, Press Action came up with a campaign to urge Tiger Woods and others competing in the tourney to
take advantage of the opportunity and urge Justice to clean up his act....Well, Tiger's at the Greenbrier but the immediate issue appears to be whether the resort will
share the spoils of the PGA and rescue local residents....So wrote John David (email) from the non-profit Southern Appalachian Labor School, this morning at 6:30 am. in an email about effects of the Derecho in his vicinity.
Southern Appalachian Labor School
In a call with FEMA yesterday with another individual from the school and the President of the Fayette County Commission, he
pleaded with the Red Cross and related folks for an emergency feeding station in Oak Hill. We were rebuffed because "the plan" is to set one up in Summersville and Lewisburg [9 miles from the Greenbrier] ...on the perimeter of the hard-hit area. In regard to the latter, ... one can certainly question how feeding decisions are being made.He explains how dire things are
Fayette is one of the 5 most distressed with over 90% of the residents without water, food, phone/communication, or money to buy anything even if out of the area. ATMs and banks cannot function.....people have no cash. It is a disaster area with power not scheduled now until Sunday.He adds how his organization lacks the capacity to provide a solution by itself.
Our efforts...are a drop in the bucket for 45,000 people, many of whom are trapped up hollows. The only place with internet service is at [WVU] Tech. The SALS problem is made worse because we have 400 volunteers arriving on Sunday at our Oak Hill facility for the planned next week of home repairs.....with no food nor water.The school is asking for direct help with donation of items delivered to Oak Hill, WV (SALS Historic Oak Hill School, 140 School Street, Oak Hill, WV 25901) because there is
chaos, disorganization, and fighting...You sure wouldn't know that from reading the story in the Beckley paper. Until I contact sources in Oak Hill and interview other organizations I don't know what to say. But David wasn't interviewed by the paper, which seems incomplete, if not odd, given that apparently thePresident of the Fayette County Commission included David in the call to FEMA. I'll list some of those I'll try to contact at the bottom of this post.
Here's a list of what SALS could use. If you've got questions, you can contact David at 304.640.1772 or his colleague Vickie at 304.640.3792.
- Shower Trailers
- Tankers of water
- Portable Kitchens
- Phones with Service
- Fuel cans
provide education, research, and linkages for working class and disenfranchised peoples in order to promote understanding, empowerment, and change. The Southern Appalachian Labor School is committed to developing a real comprehension of the social, economic, and legal structures which affect the lives of the Appalachian People.The SALS homepage hasn't been updated with the request for Fayette County and instead offers to loan a copy of Jacques Arcelin's 1983 documentary Bitter Cane, if folks want to raise funds for Haitian relief.
It's a good cause, but so is relief for the folks of Fayette County.
And while FEMA may have improved from Bush's debacle, Davis's allegation of "perimeter" emergency feeding stations have raised questions in my mind. And while I'm sure that the Red Cross, the United Way and other moneyed charities will be soliciting help, just as in the case of Katrina, I'd urge my readers to support, instead, those on the ground in the hardest hit areas. SALS, founded in 1977, is on the ground in Fayette County.
Information Available from FEMA
According its webpage,
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.So, I wondered, what information was available for the citizens of West Virginia. Since I was doing my research on July 4, a federal holiday, I decided to start with what I could find online, although, of course, not everyone has computer access, especially not due to the after-effects of the Drecho. I figured the most up-to-date information would be on twitter, so I first turned to @fema.
The most recent tweet was at 4:54 on July 3 and referred folks to a webpage to learn Other Organizations Aiding Fayette County Derecho Sufferers
Oak Hill United Methodist Church's Lewis Community Foundation Christian Community Center (the "Oak Hill National Guard Building until 2005), which is the shelter for the area (cooling stations are only available days, according to the Governor's listing updated July 2),