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Disasters: Agencies work through struggles of pandemics and natural disasters

Disaster relief agencies are learning the struggles of helping people through a natural disaster during a global pandemic. United Way, The Red Cross, InterServ and other local groups are working together to aid in the struggles of the flood victims during this difficult time.

Posted: Jul 30, 2020 10:55 AM
Updated: Jul 30, 2020 11:52 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  After a week of helping residents in Southside,  United Way has discovered the many struggles of trying to aid in disaster relief during a global pandemic. 

“So, we’re having to respond as a community to this disaster a little bit different," said Kilee Strough, president of United Way.

United Way, with the help of Red Cross, InterServ, and other local groups have had to coordinate to set systems in place. 

"Also because of COVID, it meant caseworkers from other communities and other states that usually skilled in disaster through the Red Cross, don’t just drop into new communities. That’s not acceptable right now," Strough mentioned.

United Way's main focus is to get people who are currently in a hotel, into something more stable.

In response to the other difficulties, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and Southern Baptist have stepped up to the plate to aid in relief.  Each organization assisting in their own ways by bringing food, offering clothes, and assisting with any other needs. 

“We’ve all been through a lot of disruption the last several months with COVID, and schools, and the workplaces, and sheltering in place," said Strough.  "This is one more thing that these families are going through. So the quicker we can return them to their home, the better.”

People impacted by the flood who need assistance with housing, mudout, etc., may call United Way at (816) 364-2381 to be connected with resources.

Food assistance is available through InterServ by calling (816) 238-4511. 

To contact the American Red Cross, call (816) 232-8439.

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Storm chances return Tuesday and increase into Tuesday night for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. The region could see a few strong storms and heavy rainfall. Temperatures will rise into the upper 80s.
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