As Americans follow updates about Hurricane Dorian, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada is keeping an eye on the storm, too.
The organization, which rebuilds and repairs homes destroyed or damaged by natural disasters in the U.S. and Canada, is “ready to respond” when the storm is over says Ross Penner, executive director of MDS Canada.
“Working with our American colleagues, and following invitations from local officials, we will send in assessment teams to see how we can help people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the hurricane,” he says.
This process can take time, he adds, since devastated areas need to be safe for assessment teams to go in.
“We are ready to respond if asked,” he says, noting that MDS Canada’s unique role is long-term recovery—coming in after the disaster to do restoration work.
In the meantime, MDS is busy responding to needs from earlier disasters such as hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Michael, California wildfires and flooding in Grand Forks, B.C.
“A year from now, there’s a good chance we will be responding to Hurricane Dorian, depending on what happens over the next few days,” says Penner.
Donations sent to MDS Canada will be used for Dorian or other disaster responses, he adds, noting the organization also needs volunteers for ongoing projects.