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HAPPENINGS: Various ways to help those affected by recent hurricanes

By Janice Crose | Special to Gannett

We here in Crestview and Northwest Florida dodged the hurricane bullet with Hurricanes Marco and Laura this past week. In Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and other states, people were not so fortunate. The devastation will be enormous.

What can we do to help our fellow Americans?

Supplies such as water and cleaning supplies will be needed, as well as monetary contributions. Many churches will be collecting supplies and sending them to the affected areas, so check with your church for a more complete list of what is needed.

Janice Lynn Crose

Generally, cleaning items, rags, cleansers, buckets and plastic gloves are needed, as well as clothes, socks and shoes.

Many states will send utility workers to the affected areas to restore power. Utah is sending firefighters to Louisiana to help cut down and remove trees. The Cajun Navy, a citizen-based relief group, is on the ground to help with rescues, and other tasks.

Remember, the hurricane season runs through the end of November, so please get needed paperwork in order in case we need to evacuate. You need a copy of your homeowner's insurance, the name and phone number of your mortgage company, copies of your current car registration and insurance, medical insurance cards, Social Security cards, marriage and birth certificates.

Place these in a waterproof bag and put them someplace accessible should you need to evacuate.

Also, get some cash and keep it with your other valuable documents. If the power goes out, you may need it to pay for supplies.

Stock up on bottled water. The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per day for each person or pet. Have two weeks of prescriptions in another plastic bag, as well as all needed electronic chargers. Bring a spare pair of eyeglasses, and extra contact lenses and solutions.

Make sure you pack enough fresh batteries for your flashlights. You may also want to get some non-perishable snacks.

Make sure you have plenty of pet food for at least two weeks and get the pet carriers ready.

Don't forget to have a few changes of clean clothes, as well as a first aid kit. You may want to consider a battery-operated lantern, as you don't have to hold it. Don't forget some games and cards for the children.

Here is a list of groups that will be helping the victims of these hurricanes:

•Salvation Army, www.salvationarmy.org

•Operation Blessing, www.cbn.com

•Samaritan's Purse, www.samaritanspurse.org/

•United Methodist Committee on Relief, www.umcor.org/

•Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, pda.pcusa.org/

•Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, www.namb.net/southern-baptist-disaster-relief/

•PAWS, www.paws-shelter.org/

•SOCKS, www.saveourcatsandkittens.com/

People of faith need to pray for all of those affected by this horrendous catastrophe.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.