Nebraska Floods & Disaster Response
Latest News: The evening of July 8, rains of up to 9 inches fell across central Nebraska. Already saturated by above average moisture since the March bomb cyclone, the ground couldn't absorb much more. The area south of I-80 also received crop-damaging hail. Towns, fields, homes, and businesses flooded. Roads are impassable, closed, or washed away. Sandbagging and evacuations are under way in some communities as the rivers and creeks swell after the deluge. Late planting this spring, years of low commodity prices, and now flooding are combining to create significant economic concerns in both town and countryside.
Synod staff are in touch with ministers and leaders in the impacted area. The synod’s disaster team will be meeting to consider needs, resources, and responses to this latest flood. Your prayers for the people impacted and for favorable weather are appreciated. As the waters recede and recovery assistance needs become known, more information will be available here and on the synod social media pages.
The Nebraska Synod is coordinating with Lutheran Disaster Response to prepare for recovery efforts following March's flooding and blizzard.
Individuals and congregations wanting to support the cleanup efforts, can send donations to the Nebraska Synod Disaster Fund. If you give by check, please include “Nebraska Floods” in the memo line and mail it to:
Nebraska Synod ELCA
6757 Newport Avenue, Suite 200
Omaha, NE 68152
You can also give online at https://nebraskasynod.org/giving/give-now.html.
Click on the fourth option, "Hunger & Disaster," then scroll down the list to Hunger & Disaster, and enter your donation amount in the line for Synod Disaster Fund.
Be mindful that it is not uncommon for individuals and organizations to appear in the aftermath of disasters to solicit funds for less-than-legitimate purposes. Be sure to confirm that efforts to which you contribute are reputable and are accountable for their use of donations. When in doubt, contact the synod office, Lutheran Disaster Response or its local affiliate, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, or an agency like Charity Navigator for more information.
Resources for Volunteers
You are invited to the Nebraska Bound Mission Trip to Lynch on October 16-19, 2019. Lynch and Bristow residents will provide lodging at the community building and meals. Work may include hanging sheet rock, painting, etc. More specific work plans will be shared later. For more information, please contact Pastor Becky Beckmann at 402-841-1063 or email@example.com.
The Nebraska Synod Disaster Response Team has been in touch with many organizations across the state and plans to share information regarding service opportunities as they become available.
If you are looking to plan a mission trip or service trip/day in the near future, your current best option is working through the United Way Fremont. Below is contact information for the volunteer coordinator, who will work with you directly to schedule and plan a service opportunity, should you wish to reach out.
Fremont Area United Way
445 E. 1st St #1
Fremont, NE 68025
We also have a connection in Columbus, NE, if that is closer to where you’d like to serve:
University of Nebraska Extension Service in Columbus, NE
For this opportunity, there is still much work to do, but no planned workdays as of yet. Please contact her with your information, availability, and if you are volunteering alone or with a group. The work would include everything from clean-up to installing fencing.
In Southwest Iowa, there is still a great deal of flooding. AmeriCorps are setup there and leading the response efforts. The best contact there is the volunteer coordination center - 515.444.2390. It is staffed by AmeriCorps volunteers, and they can let you know how your congregation can best be of assistance.
If these opportunities are not what you are seeking, or are not near where you're able to serve, please know we are working to put together other opportunities. At present, many areas are still in the organizing phase - putting together oversight committees and really figuring out what it is their community needs and how to manage volunteers to assist in meeting those needs. As more opportunities materialize, details and contacts will be shared with all those who have reached out to the synod wishing to serve.
United Way of the Midlands, in conjunction with AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams, is partnering with voluntary and faith-based organizations to host statewide flood relief volunteer opportunities. These opportunities will be listed on United Way of the Midlands’ Get Connected Volunteer Platform at this link. For flood relief volunteer opportunities, look for the white heart in the blue circle icon. For current information volunteers can also dial 2-1-1 and press 6 to learn about flood relief volunteer opportunities. If calling from outside Nebraska, please call 402-444-6666 before pressing 6. An operator will be available to assist you weekdays from 7 am to 8 pm and Saturdays 8 am to 5 pm.
MILLS COUNTY, IOWA - Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) – This group is staffed by AmeriCorps members and can assist with volunteers who want to help – call 515.444.2390. This covers the SW Iowa areas most impacted.
Material donations: Glenwood Resource Center 'Store' CONTACT: Kori Kenkel – 402.960.2465.
Furniture donations: Lana Duyson at 402.917.7074 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monetary Donations: Omaha Community Foundation
Other Resources (from UNL Extension Site)
American Red Cross - Donations
Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS
Text: Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation
American Red Cross – Volunteering
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska
or mail check to them at 2241 O St, Lincoln, NE 68510 and put “flood relief” in the memo.
Great Plains United Methodist Conference
Donations can be made to the Great Plains Disaster Response Fund.
Nebraska Preparedness Partnership
Call Sandra Hobson at 402-979-7207 or email email@example.com for information about making a donation.
Legal Aid of Nebraska – Offering free legal help for Nebraska’s low-income flood survivors
COUNTY CONTACTS: For those looking to serve in a particular area, contact the local emergency manager
*Tracking volunteer hours is crucial in the recovery process. Wherever you volunteer, please complete a Volunteer Registration Form and sign in and out to capture the total hours of service at each opportunity.
Resources for Those Impacted
Flood Assistance /Resources:
Farmers in need of hay, feed stuffs, fencing materials, volunteer help, equipment, etc. should call the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at: 1-800-831-0550.
Businesses can call the U.S. Chamber’s Disaster Help Desk for Business at 1-888-692-4943.
Realtors Disaster Relief Effort: The Nebraska REALTORS® Association and the Home Buyer's Assistance Foundation have partnered with the REALTORS® Relief Foundation to help with mortgage payment assistance or rental cost due to displacement for up to $1000 for those affected by the Nebraska flood. More information and application on webpage.
AFTER THE STORM– A Healing Book and Workbook for Children and Adults Whose Lives Have Been Affected by Severe Weather.
Nebraska Energy Office: Emergency Dollar and Energy Saving Loans & Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Households
Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska is the recipient of grant funds from Farm Aid and the Center for Rural Affairs totaling $30,000.00. Beginning April 15 they will begin taking applications for $500.00 block grants to farmers and ranchers affected by the blizzard and flooding in March. To access this assistance farmers and ranchers must complete an application by phone at the Rural Response Hotline (800)464-0258. This is a simple, straight forward application process. All applications will be reviewed by a review panel. Awards will be made within 10 days of receiving the application. Farmers and ranchers who have lost personal or household property from the blizzard or flooding are eligible to apply.
For organizations looking for volunteers or those interested in hosting volunteer opportunities, please contact the 2-1-1 AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordination Team at 402-235-8262 weekdays from 7 am to 8 pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 5 pm or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions & Answers about FEMA Disaster Assistance click this link.
Disaster resources related to the needs of children and their caregivers (in English & Spanish)
Resources for Congregations
Emotional & Spiritual Care in Disasters Course at the Salvation Army Omaha Kroc Center on July 16-17, 2019
Grief Following Trauma Course at the Salvation Army Omaha Kroc Center on July 18-19, 2019
Latest News For Flood Response
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Disaster Response Grants
If you know of a congregation or someone in need, in the continuing aftermath of the floods and blizzards from last year, resources remain available to help. With questions, or to apply for a disaster response grant, please contact Deacon Timothy Siburg about the need and request. He will then share the request with the Nebraska Synod Disaster Response Team and Bishop Brian Maas.
Requests for Service Opportunities
The new year has brought a number of new inquiries from congregations and groups around the ELCA and the whole country, wondering if they might be able to help in some way on the ground in Nebraska this year. Many of these requests have been for potential mission/service weeks from congregations looking to help their neighbors on the ground here. If your congregation or community could use such a group, please let us know so that we can connect you to the requests as they come in.
Lutheran Family Services
Please hold our serving arm partner, Lutheran Family Services, in prayer as they faithfully discern hiring a Disaster Response Coordinator, and interview qualified candidates. It is envisioned that this new role will be a great partner and asset for the whole Nebraska Synod and LFS as we work together to respond to on-going and prepare for and hopefully mitigate upcoming disasters.