Winnipeg, MB—Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is monitoring the situation in British Columbia, where torrential rains have caused flooding and mudslides that have affected many communities and residents. With the water still yet to recede, and some communities still cut off from access due to damaged or destroyed roads and bridges, "it’s too early to be doing any kind of assessment on what we can do,” Ross Penner, who directs Canadian operations, said in a news release yesterday. MDS Canada is already in contact with Samaritan’s Purse, which specializes in the early response phase to disasters such as mucking out and cleaning up, about collaborating on early responses. Rebuilding and restoring homes — MDS’s specialty — would not begin until next year, after proper assessments can be conducted, insurance claims satisfied and vulnerable people who need help are identified by local recovery response committees. In the meantime, the MDS unit in B.C. has already been focusing on responding to the wildfires that hit the province hard this summer. MDS invites donations for B.C. fire and flood response at mds.mennonite.net/donate.
—Mennonite Disaster Service