Friday, August 18, 2006

June 7 conference; volunteer reunion on August 26

August 18, 2006

Dear friends and disaster assistance volunteers:

Regarding the Department of Homeland Security Conference for NGOs (i. e. faith based groups) on June 7 in Baton Rouge LA, Joe Scott attended for Water Missions International and Bob Putnam attended for Pearlington CODRA. There may be some initiatives to come out of this conference but nothing definitive is published that I know of. I have heard the American Red Cross, of which I also am a volunteer, will be coordinating efforts by other non-governmental agencies in future disasters. I have taken the now FEMA required EMI course IS 100. It seems all American Red Cross, local firefighters, emergency management, paramedics, etc. are all now taking the first series (IS 100, IS 700 and maybe IS 200). By taking these courses, supposedly the volunteers' organization will qualify for reimbursement of expenses by FEMA. It will be interesting to see how this will work.

Greg Arnold of Charleston Water System of Charleston SC and myself will attend the volunteer reunion at Pearlington MS on August 26. It will be good to see some of the 100 or so volunteers who have helped rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in the last year.

Bob Britts

Monday, May 01, 2006

Invitation only Conference in Baton Rouge on June 7

May 1, 2007

Hello all friends and volunteers for disaster assistance( especially for Pearlington MS)

I have learned of an invitation only conference in Baton Rouge LA on June 7. It is sponsored by the Homeland Security Institute. It is entitled " Heralding Unheard Voices : The role of Faith Based and Non-governmental Organizations during Disaster." It sounds like a great conference. I have the agenda and registration form and if you e-mail me at I can send it to you. For more information e-mail BatonRouge@ or call 703 416 8426.

Happy May 1 to all.

Bob Britts

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wayne Patrick, Bob Britts, Lt. Clebe McClary at Myrtle Beach SC, March 18, 2006 Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 03, 2006

April 3, 2006

Hello all disaster assistance volunteers. History is still being made in the Gulfcoast areas of MS and LA. I have not been to Pearlington MS since February 3 but am receiving e-mail updates all the time. The replacement housing efforts by way of FEMA trailers in Hancock County has slowed down to less than 10 a week. A few displaced residents who were in shelters, apartments, or motels many miles away have returned. The deadlines to request FEMA trailers were extended several times but requests had to be submitted in March. National agencies like American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity have scaled back or consolidated efforts in other areas. Requests for donations earmarked for a specific disaster like Katrina have been stopped in order to create funding for smaller local disasters or the next big disaster.

As was reported on, a Pearlington resident who lived in a FEMA trailer and had a Water Missions International well pump, lost his life in a trailer fire last week. Mr. Sidney Strickland was well known in the Pearlington area as he was age 71 and disabled. He still hoped to resume his woodworking hobby from his FEMA trailer.

After six months, hopefully lessons learned in this disaster can be used to prepare for the next hurricane season which begins in early June. As one gulf coast governor so aptly said, the temporary travel trailers are more vulnerable to high winds and flooding than the permanent houses were. Any comments on future disaster assistance as regards to drinking water and wastewater are appreciated. Thanks.

Bob Britts

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

February 8, 2006

Hello all who help disaster victims. I just returned from my second trip to Hancock County MS. I stayed again at the Charles Murphy School in Pearlington. The Red Cross is still serving food there. This time I was pleased to meet Jon White of Canada who was also visiting last week.

I was able to personally interview and videotape 9 families in the Pearlington or Bay St. Louis area who had received Water Missions International pump systems. All are now living in FEMA trailers next to their damaged or destroyed home. The water systems are doing fine so far. A few have started rebuilding even though their home is not high enough above sea level. Most are waiting for insurance payments or the insurance payment that has been received is way too small to cover the cost of rebuilding. Many faith based groups are still helping in the rebuilding process like the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Thanks to volunteers Greg Wolfe of CBF of MS, Paul Eades of NC, Dave Novak of NY, Carol Bourlard of TN and Caby Byrne of TN for their help to videotape and locate installed pumps.

The effort is massive and ongoing but progress is being made although slowly. Bob Britts

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bob Britts with Austin Middlebrooks Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 07, 2006

First posting on Water for Rural Disaster Victims

January 7, 2006

Hello all bloggers:

I am Bob Britts of Lexington SC. My employer, Southeast RCAP of Roanoke VA, has a mission to provide safe drinking water and clean wastewater systems to low income rural residents. This is in the states of DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA and FL. A colleague, Rick Hiers and myself, spent a week in Pearlington MS and assisted with pump assembly and installation. Water Missions International of Charleston SC sponsored "Operation Running Water." "FEMA" trailers were being installed in Hancock County with electricity and connections to septic tanks but no water supply. WMI, Sheds for Jesus and other groups helped secure and install over 520 pumps and tanks in 10 weeks. Please post any disaster locations in the seven states above that have loss of drinking water due to a disaster. Thanks. Bob Britts