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Nov 20: Sandy survivors train to protect homes from mold, flood damage

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Nov 20: Sandy survivors train to protect homes from mold, flood damage

Sandy survivors trained to protect homes from mold, flood damage

By Tobin Perry

Pam and Randy Creamer (left), have led five trainings for homeowner mud-out at churches in New York and New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Here the couple meet with Bob Roberts of Arkansas (center) and Ron Puff of New York. The group met at Deer Park, on Long Island, N.Y., where Arkansas and New York DR kitchens are staffed by Arkansas, Virginia and New York SBDR volunteers. Photo By Laura Sikes

NEW YORK CITY -- Through Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) New York and New Jersey homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy are finding help in protecting their homes from ongoing mold and flood damage. Approximately 200 from the area have attended seven mold and flood recovery training sessions throughout the city this month.

Through Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) New York and New Jersey homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy are finding help in protecting their homes from ongoing mold and flood damage. Approximately 200 from the area have attended seven mold and flood recovery training sessions throughout the city this month.

The two-hour training is a much-condensed version of training given to SBDR volunteers who participate in recovery trips nationwide. The training, developed in 2005 to help those impacted by Hurricane Katrina, is desperately needed in an area that has been overwhelmed by flood damage, says Randy Creamer, who has led five of the training sessions.

The driving reason to do this is the health issues, very serious respiratory issues, that'll crop up in the coming weeks and months if you don't get the moisture out of the house, Creamer said.

The training helps homeowners understand the health risks in mold-infected homes and how to safely mud out, sanitize and disinfect their homes. For example, homeowners learn to be on the lookout for hazardous materials, sharp objects, unstable structures, power lines and other dangers as they mud out their homes. They are also always encouraged to work in pairs.

For local pastors the training has given them one more opportunity to show the community the love of Jesus through Southern Baptists. Church planter Nathan Tubbs hosted training for about 12 people at his church plant, Cornerstone Church at Bay Bridge in Brooklyn, last week. Besides training some of his church members, the training also helped to prepare a volunteer team that was in the area helping his church. Tubbs said the training was helpful, and he has been able to pass on the lessons to friends and co-workers in the community.

It showed people we were prepared, said Nathan Tubbs, who is also a NAMB missionary. Thats a big thing for people going through what theyre going through here. It says a lot about how much we care. We care enough that were willing to prepare. I think thats big because were not just here flippantly, but were doing things safely and accuratelyso people know when we mud out homes, they wont be dealing with mold six months later.

The training has also been an opportunity for churches to minister to unchurched people in their communities. When Graffiti Church in Manhattan hosted a training session on Nov. 5, Creamer says 85 of the more than 100 who attended the training had never been inside of that church.

Many homeowners want to clean their homes themselves, but they have a fear of Am I doing it right? said Fritz Wilson, the North American Mission Board executive director for SBDR. By offering this training based on our many years of experience, we can go in and help them understand how to do it safely.

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