Update from United Way

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Rachael Cox
Director of Marketing and Communications
United Way of Escambia County
Phone: 850-444-7114 (direct) or 850-426-1271 (cell)
Email: rachael@unitedwayescambia.org


Dear Agency Partners, Board Members and Friends,

For the end of the day, I thought it important to do an update on the calls 2-1-1 is receiving, what we are hearing from Greg Strader at the EOC and what agency partners have indicated is their impact and need (as is currently known). Consequently, you have a brief narrative below and several attachments with further detail as backing for the synopsis below. If I can provide additional clarity, please feel free to contact me on my cell phone at 850-232-2244. The United Way of Escambia County Board’s Executive Committee will be executing a conference call at 9am to discuss United Way’s role and capacity to help provide immediate relief and assistance. They will make a recommendation and update to the full United Way Board later that morning, and we will provide updates to the community on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, please be aware that we are in the process of setting up a disaster fund that can receive donations specific to remediation of this event. The bank account and accounting protocols are in place to distribute any funding received across the affected areas of the Panhandle. The website should be finalized tomorrow, and we will share the unique URL for donors to contribute to the community. I am also in continuing discussions with United Way Worldwide to keep them apprised of the situation in our community, and other United Ways continue to extend their support through this difficult time of immediate need and long-range recovery.

Flood Relief and Calls received by 2-1-1:
· Agents had taken 320 calls as of approximately 5pm today.
· 172 calls were related to the flood and detailed spreadsheets for Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties are attached.
· About 80 of these calls have reported more than a foot of water.
· Other calls averaging 6-10 inches of flood water.
· We have had reports of roof damage, concrete foundations that have been washed out, loss of clothes, furniture, beds, food, etc. and more.

Call volume from Escambia County
32501: 14 calls
32502: 3 calls
32503: 11 calls
32504: 3 calls
32505: 32 calls
32506: 25 calls
32507: 7 calls
32508: 1 call
32514: 7 calls
32526: 11 calls
32533: 8 calls
32534: 20 calls

IMPACT and Assistance Available from Non-Profit Partners
As always, it has been a blessing to watch the community respond to those impacted by this disaster. Coordination and compassionate offerings of assistance have come from every direction. Most wish to help those who “have it worse” than them. The most pressing issues that we have heard for agency damage are below, but a complete spreadsheet containing known status of United Way agency partners as well as status of service delivery related to the flood are attached. Highlights only are listed below.

Negative Impacts of the storm on agency partners:

· Manna Food Pantries had 100 percent loss in their main pantry building and about 30 percent loss in their warehouse as of yesterday; the school district and several businesses and agencies are attempting to assist Manna with a temporary site.
· Community Action had 4’ of water in the basement of their “C” Street location and was looking for a pump and assistance to clear the water as of 9am this morning. We think we found them a partner to assist.
· ARC Gateway has one of their group homes with water damage.
· M&A Community Outreach has ceiling down, water damage and roof damage.
· At United Cerebral Palsy, Capstone Academy has water damage and they suspect a lightning strike has damaged one of their group homes.
· All YMCA branches are OK but their downtown office on Tarragona Street flooded.
· Waterfront Rescue Mission evacuated to The Salvation Army due to damage.

Flood Assistance Services:

· Marcus Pointe Baptist Church is providing services through a food pantry and clothing closet. Hours of operation are Friday 10am to 1pm and next Monday-Thursday 10am to 1pm.
· Tender Heart/Caring Hands food pantry at Olive Baptist Church will be open 8am to 2pm Monday-Friday.
· The Salvation Army is providing clean up kits and personal comfort kits to families whose homes are destroyed or have received major damages and food loss. Salvation Army DERTeam is out making assessments of damaged homes and will notify victims if additional help is available.
· American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Fricker Center and is providing food assistance to the residents at Forrest Creek apartments as the entire complex was impacted.

Affected Services with changes to Operations:
· Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) will return to full service Friday, May 2. All vehicles have been carefully inspected and deemed safe and operational. All roadways along ECAT routes have also been cleared, so buses and the University of West Florida (UWF) trolleys will run along their normal routes on their normal schedules.

Update from Greg Strader as of 10am from EOC
Greg Strader, Executive Director for BRACE has been providing ongoing communications regarding collaborations and information directed through EOC. He has been providing UWEC with relevant updates and highlights of important information for UWEC to share with local non-profit organizations and community partners.

· Four preliminary damage assessment teams were to be on the ground doing assessments starting at Noon today.
· Best guess is that it will be Sunday or Monday before they complete a regional assessment for a potential declaration of disaster.
· PIO Buffy Gilsoil is the interface for external organizations.
· Don Griffin is the lead for local individual assessments.
· Leslie Ramali was to join the team as a VOAD expert at 3pm today.
· It is anticipated the team will gather data for a few days before deciding where to place any regional administration to assist in recovery efforts.
· Congressman Miller was to tour the EOC at Noon today.



Andrea Krieger
United Way of Escambia County
1301 W. Government St.
Pensacola, FL 32502
(850) 444-7110 direct
(850) 232-2244 cellular
(850) 444-7141 fax

File your taxes for free. Anytime. Anywhere. Click here to take advantage of United Way’s online tax help website today!