As I write this, the Front Range of Northern Colorado is being ravaged by floods.
In the past half hour I’ve learned of three of our families who’ve had to evacuate their houses–one of which is a total loss. The others can’t get to their houses right now. I also just received a call from one of our members, and a dear friend, informing me that he and his oil crew are trapped and surrounded by rising water. They were helping a woman rescue her livestock when the waters changed course and surrounded them. They have called and are waiting to be rescued.
This is all so familiar to my friend Delmar Schroeder. Delmar was one of the point people for rescue and rebuilding during the 1976 Big Thompson Flood that hit this same area and took the lives of 143 people.
This day has been filled with people asking me, “What can we do?” Well, knowing that Delmar is an expert regarding floods and disasters in general, I asked him for some information I could pass on in answer to this question.
What Ordinary People Can Do During An Extraordinary Disaster
by Delmar Schroeder
1. Pray like crazy!
2. Do what Jesus would do. Be enthusiastic and sincere when you are helping, work hard, this is not a social event, try not to remind the victims of their situation by dwelling on it, be positive, you are doing God’s work and they will see God’s love for them by they way you help them.
3. Wait for the opportunity–wait until the various disaster agency’s have a plan–unless you have an acquaintance that is a victim of the flood.
4. Respect law enforcement agencies who are there to keep people out of dangerous area.
5.There will be 2 phases to this disaster: first is clean up, then the rebuilding of damaged homes, businesses, out buildings, fences, etc. Much, much help will be needed to clean houses. This is hard, dirty work, that must be done first. Go prepared with tools needed for what you are going to do. Your crew may need a chain saw, rakes, shovels, buckets, brushes, rags, household cleaners, water hoses with nozzles. Remember that the flood waters are very dirty and infectious so be sure to wear water proof gloves and boots, have first aid supplies with you.
6. Remember that the disaster isn’t over until all is restored, so keep volunteering for the rebuilding process, this will most likely take a year or more. It will require all building skills.