Louisiana Flood Relief Continues
OGT continues to help flood victims in Louisiana. Last September the Norfolk warehouse shipped a load of food, water and clean-up/rebuilding supplies to Pastor Ed Brashier, the LCMS Southern District Disaster Relief Coordinator to distribute to volunteers and churches in the Baton Rouge area to help flood victims rebuild. OGT has also given $18,000.00 of donations for “Louisiana” to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to replenish their food supply for flood victims. A Shower Trailer for volunteers was delivered to Baton Rouge from Norfolk, NE. That unit is part of Orphan Grain Train’s “Disaster Village” inventory and will stay as long as it is needed. OGT’s Ohio Collection Center arranged transportation of 26 pallets of food and beverages from a major food distributor to Baton Rouge. OGT continues to help our neighbors in Louisiana and if you would like to make an online donation, please click on the Donate button and write “Louisiana” in the comments box or you can send a check marked with “Louisiana” to Orphan Grain Train P.O. Box 1466 Norfolk, NE 68701. Thank you for your support of the missions of OGT. The pictures are from Pastor Brashier of the Baton Rouge flooding.  (10/2016)

Supplies Needed for Flood Victims in Louisiana

The flooding in Louisiana is devastating and OGT is preparing to ship needed items for disaster relief.  OGT’s Norfolk warehouse (located in Norfolk, NE) and some of the other OGT regional locations will be shipping needed supplies.  Please contact your local OGT site to see if they are planning to ship to the disaster area.  If you are not able to donate needed items and would like to help, please consider a monetary donation for OGT to purchase some of the necessary supplies or to help pay shipping expenses. The items requested for flood clean up and rebuilding are:

3M first aid kits
N-95 respirators
Work gloves
Hazmat suits
Gallon Ziploc bags for volunteer lunches
Nonperishable snacks such as energy bars
Bottled water-16 ounce size for volunteers
Fork, knife, spoon and napkin packs
Diapers and baby supplies
New underwear in plastic packs
New socks in plastic packs
Rubber Maid waterproof storage containers
Flat shovels
Box cutters and blades
Mold killer - borax (1 cup per gallon of warm water will kill mold)
Pry bars

The destruction from the flooding is widespread and more than 60,700 homes have been destroyed that it will be a long term clean up and rebuilding of the disaster area.   If you would like to send a monetary donation or donate on line then please designate it to “Louisiana Flood”. You can mail donations to:  Orphan Grain Train P.O. Box 1466 Norfolk, NE 68701 or online at Donate Now 

Thank you for your support of Orphan Grain Train and its mission to help our neighbors devastated and hurting in Louisiana.

Amazon Wish List for Louisiana Flood Victims 

OGT is excited to share another way you can donate to the cause of the Louisiana Flood Victims. OGT now has a Wish List with Amazon.com where you can purchase relief supplies that ship directly to the Norfolk warehouse. You can click on the link below or go to amazon.com, create an account, click on Lists (by Shopping cart upper right corner), then Wish List then Your Friends, type in Orphan Grain Train and start shopping.
Thank you for supporting OGT with this domestic disaster.

OGT Donates to Help Flood Victims
Memorial Day floods of 2015 devastated Blanco county and surrounding counties in Texas. It had the highest flood waters ever recorded in Texas history and several lives were lost. Orphan Grain Train donated $7,500.00 to the Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response Division. The money will go towards the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team, which is helping residents rebuild their communities. Officials with the counties say they expect the recovery to take several years. The Blanco River Regional Recovery Team is designed to aid in long-term recovery. Prayers for the families devastated by the floods and for recovery efforts. (10-2015)

OGT Helps People in Kansas
Jefferson County in North East Kansas is under a ‘boil water’ order from the State Sanitation Department. The need for drinking water in Jefferson County KS was brought on by heavy rains. Contaminated runoff polluted a large reservoir that supplies several villages in the county, so residents will be required to boil their drinking water for the next 30 days. During the week of June 15th we delivered semi-trailer full of bottled water as well as a 6,000 gallon tank trailer filled with clean drinking water to Ozawkie, KS. The trailer was parked at a distribution site so that residents can fill their larger containers from the spigots on our trailer. When the trailer is empty, a local trucker will move the trailer to a fill site, then refill it and bring it back to the distribution site. This process will repeat as often as needed. This is another way that Orphan Grain Train Disaster Relief reaches out to help those who are suffering. (6-17-2015)

Flood Victims Getting Help
This is a photo of OGT’s “Big Kitchen” as it leaves Norfolk warehouse on the morning of June 3, 2015. The kitchen is equipped with a large freezer, refrigerator, stove, ovens, and fryers. It will be serving a Christian Youth Camp near Fischer, TX where their kitchen was destroyed by floodwaters. Summer Bible Camps will be able to proceed as scheduled. When those activities conclude in early August, the Camp will house volunteers that will be working on cleaning up and repairing homes in the area that sustained flood related damage.

Orphan Grain Train's Mobile Kitchen

Orphan Grain Train's Mobile Kitchen

Forgotten Disaster
On June 22, 2011, the city of Minot, ND was hit with a FEMA classified, Level Five natural disaster, as the Souris River, fed by four Canadian Reservoirs, flooded the city for more than five weeks. Water levels more than 12 feet in depth cascaded through the city at up to thirty miles per hour, moving homes and business off their foundations and leaving little more than rubble in its wake. In the flood, an astonishing one fourth of the city’s housing, more than 4100 homes, were damaged or destroyed. Compounding the disaster’s effect is the fact that the city of Minot, population 43,000, was already consumed by a critical pre-flood housing shortage due to an oil boom economy. The end result is that 12,000 people, nearly one-fourth of the city’s population, were scrambling to find shelter of any type. From June to the end of December, there was hardly a family that did not have one or two other families sharing their home. Some homes were shelters for up to five flood-devastated families.

Broken Bridge Minot flood

Catastrophic Flood Damage in Minot

What makes this disaster even more tragic for those involved is that flood insurance was non-existent. The flooded areas were not classified as a flood plain, which means that of the 4100 homes that were flooded, only a handful, approximately 280 families, had flood insurance of any kind. Since a person’s homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, an astonishing 3800 families are without any insurance as they seek to rebuild their lives.

The crisis becomes even more intense for devastated families as one considers that only 18 FEMA trailers were in the government’s entire inventory at the beginning of the flood. The final family was finally placed in a FEMA trailer shortly before Christmas.

The housing crisis also severely hurt volunteer efforts. Willing volunteers were available.

Orphan Grain Train Rolls into Minot
Two 20 ft. storage units, two 48 ft. storage units, an office unit and tool trailer with tools, generators, pressure washers, a 40 ft. by 40 ft. tent, and supplies for mucking out flooded homes, have been sent by Orphan Grain Train. A volunteer village is in the plans for the near future. Orphan Grain Train sent 21 mobile disaster units which included; 6 mobile shower/restroom units, an industrial kitchen unit, another 45 ft. mobile office unit, 7 bunk bed units, and the mobile chapel unit, which was used in Greensburg Kansas after tornadoes devastated that city in 2007. These facilities made it possible for volunteers to help with the recovery and rebuilding effort, without adding to the housing problem there in Minot. In the words of Rev. Paul Krueger of Minot, “Without the Orphan Grain Train there would not have been a recovery, because everything in the town was destroyed or in such bad shape that there was not a spot to store anything. Disaster recovery for the entire city is being run out of the Orphan Grain Train office unit. If it would not have been there, where would it have happened?”

Minot Flood

Library underpass in Minot, ND

Maryland Branch Help with New York Flooding
On a chilly early afternoon of Monday, November 28, a loaded cargo van arrived at Zion Lutheran Church in Owego, New York at the request of Paster Aaron Schian. The town was devastated when the rain from tropical storm Lee began falling September 6 and poured 11 inches over the next two days. The Susquehanna River rose from 17 feet to 38 feet between 6 a.m. September 7 and 6 a.m. September 8. Then the gauge that measures the surge broke, but the river kept rising. "It was like a horizontal Niagara Falls," said a Salvation Army worker. "It was fast, it was high, and it was loud." One resident said, "Everybody's life is on the lawn." The mayor said that 90 percent of the homes on the north side of the Susquehanna River took in water. Some will have to be leveled and many more will take months to repair.

Seeking to help his community, Pastor Schian contacted Elfie Eberle, chair of the Orphan Grain Train, Maryland Branch. Housed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Annapolis, Orphan Grain Train is a nearly all-volunteer, humanitarian, Christian organization that shares material resources with people who are in need, wherever they are. The pastor said he had a particular need for blankets and quilts. He noted that "there are still around 1,000 people without power and that means, of course, without heat. The blankets and quilts will be such a great gift to the people here in Owego."

Elfie immediately put the word out and in a matter of a few short weeks, the ladies of Annapolis Evangelical Lutheran Church, along with the ladies of St. Paul's made 67 bright and beautiful quilts! Supplemented by donations from many other churches, some as far away as Salisbury, Maryland and Hampton and Williamsburg, Virgina, a total of 300 quilts and blankets were loaded in the van along with 30 mercy kits (a bath towel and wash cloth wrapped around hygiene supplies such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, etc.)

The quilts and blankets arrived just in time. The supply at Zion Lutheran Church had dwindled to just a few.
Special thanks to all of those who helped.