Hurricane Harvey deployment

From the 9th of September until the 3rd of October I deployed with Iris Relief to their response to Hurricane Harvey. Based out of the city of Rockport - Texas, we received several teams of volunteers and missionaries, and assisted impacted residents, as well as working alongside FEMA at their Disaster Recover Centers.

Here are some photos from the deployment.

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Early this morning (at 12:02 AM to be exact) I was woken up by rather strong (7.8 on the Richter scale) and very long (over 2 minutes) earthquake. Despite the intensity of the quake, there was no damage to my brother's house where I am staying, and only one major aftershock shortly after. There was an evacuation order given for low lying regions, which did not affect us.

 

Red Cross PHEC course in Christchurch

I flew out of Rio on the 24th of October, arriving back in Christchurch on the 26th. I am planning to stay in New Zealand until the 14th of December, when I will be flying back to Brazil.

From the 2nd to the 4th of November I participated in a Pre Hospital Emergency Care course with the New Zealand Red Cross, having previously completed the pre-course theory assignment.

Here are some photos from the course.

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I had an unexpected visit to the US in mid October, from the 10th through to the 21st. Most of this time was spent with the Iris Global base at Abiline - Texas, where we were working on possibly developed a disaster response missions training and sending centre. I was also able to train one person as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program Manager during this time.

I also had the opportunity to visit the Austin Disaster Relief Network in the centre of Austin - TX, which is an amazing networking of over 170 churches that work together in disaster preparedness and response. We also visited some ministries in Houston before I fly back to Brazil on the 20th, arriving in Rio on the 21st.

The trip was an unexpected but very worthwhile experience.

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Nova Friburgo February 2014

Howdy,

Its now been just over three years since Nova Friburgo became the epicentre for Brazils worst ever natural disaster, when heavy rainfall caused landslides and flooding that killed an offical total of just under one thousand victims. Although there have been some signs of progress since then, many of the scars from that time period still remain. Today I took some photos around town to illustrate an article that I am writing for an emergency management publication, and I thought it could be interesting to also share some of them here.

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Crisis Response Unit and Teens Group Training

Since Setember we have been holding two-weekly meetings on Saturday nights where we provide advanced training to members of our Christian Crisis Response Unit and young people from our teens group who have completed the Teen CERT course. Over the past several meetings we have trained with the SKED stretcher, tested an Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), and practised one and two personal profissional CPR and the use of the Bag Valve Mask (BVM) and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).

Here are some photos from recent training meetings:

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USA Trip, February 2013

Hi,

From the 2nd to the 26th of February I visited the United States once again, primarily to take part in two training courses at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg - MD. I also had the chance to spend some more time at the CRI Base Camp in Lindenhurst - Long Island - NY, which was winding up after three months working with survivors of Superstorm Sandy. During my stay, I also ministered at a church in New York, and had the chance to complete several courses with the American Red Cross, and successfully took an exam at the headquarters of the International Assocation of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

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Nova Friburgo, two years later...

I recently had the opportunity to visit a suburb here in Nova Friburgo - Rio de Janeiro which was devastated by the landslides on the 12th of January of 2011. Despite the fact that this suburb is some 2 - 3 km from the centre of the city, as you can see from these photos that I took, it seems that little or nothing has been done in the intervening timespan, and the vast majority of the residents have been forced find other accomodation elsewhere.

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Super-storm Sandy deployment with CRI

Hi,

I am now back in Brazil having spent nearly four weeks in the east coast of the United States. Most of this time was spent volunteering with Crisis Response International in the city of Lindenhurst, on Long Island, where we were helping and ministering to victims of Super Storm Sandy.

CRI has a field camp set up on the seashore, and their base camp currently at the Rainbow Center, a local community center. Most of our work involves helping landowners and residents remove debris from the hurricane, and stripping out dry-wall and flooring which has been soaked and contaminated by the flood waters, so that the houses can dry out prior to reconstruction.

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Teresópolis flooding and landslides - Easter 2012

Hi,

We all thought that this year's rainy season, with the risk of flooding and landslides, had well and truly passed by the start of April. However, on Good Friday, the 6th, we had unusually heavy rainfall here in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, especially in the cities of Nova Friburgo and Teresópolis. In Friburgo we had some surface flooding, but fortunately no serious landslides, however Teresópolis was badly hit with both flooding downtown and landslides in some of the hillside communities.

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CRU deployment to Além Paraí­ba - 14 January 2012

This Saturday, the 14th of January, three members of our Crisis Response Unit, including myself, visited the city of Além Paraíba, in the neighbour state of Minas Gerais, together with a team from the Nova Friburgo Red Cross chapter. We took supplies of food, water and other donations, and also visited a shelter for victims of the recent floods and landslides there.

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Remembering the tragedy of 12 January 2011

Today, the 12th of January 2012, is exactly one year since the devastating flooding landslides that hit the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, and especially the city of Nova Friburgo, resulting in an official death toll of nearly 1,000 and a probable total of around 3,000 fatalities. Our Crisis Response Unit participated in a public meeting in the town square, where a community emergency plan, in which we participated, was also presented. Here are some photos of that event.

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New Year's day 2012

On New Year's day, around 9 pm at night, we were told by the local Residents' Association vice-president that, due to the heavy rain that was falling and forecast, all the at-risk areas in the city were placed on alert. As our suburb of Cordoeira has a siren system to warn residents of impending danger, we opened the Association hall as an Evacuation Area and staffed it overnight, in case the alert was sounded to evacuate the danger zones.

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Nova Friburgo

Hi,

I've now been visiting Friburgo for just over a week, and it's been great to catch up with folk, especially at the Iris Ministries church that I planted in the slum of Cordoeira. I ministered at the church ysterdayy (Wednesday), last Sunday and last Wednesday night and also at a boys' group last Thursday night and tonight.

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Nova Friburgo one month after the tragedy

Today, which marks the one month aniversary of the rains, floods and landslides which have killed at least 890 people in the Região Serrana of Rio de Janeiro, I visited some areas nearby the city of Nova Friburgo which have been devasted. My visit, with some members of the CERT team that I trained here in Friburgo, was primarily so that we could take some photos that would help enhance further CERT training course.

I was amazed at the destruction that we encountered so close to the city center.

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Friburgo - 4th of February

Today I've been preparing for the upcoming Community Emergency Response Team</a> refresher course which I will run for some of the folk here in Friburgo who I've previously trained in first aid and rescue (I founded and led an Iris Ministries church here in Cordoeira for nearly eight years, before moving to São Paulo  in 2009 to found a ministry called Avivamento Já).

Anyway, as part of this preparation we took some photos of houses in the suburb of Cordoeira which were destroyed during the landslide (although, with two reported deaths this suburb got off lightly compared to many others).

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Please pray for Nova Friburgo and the surrounding region - heavy rains have caused landslides resulting in the deaths of at least 155 people in Friburgo and 335 in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Friburgo has had at least 30 landslides and is without power, water or communications, including telephones, internet and mobiles and I haven't yet heard from Trina about the situation there in Cordoeira.

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The Grinch that Stole Boxing Day

After a month of no seismic activity, I was rudely awakened at 2 am this morning by a strong aftershock, followed by another at 2:30. Since then we have had over 25 aftershocks today, mostly in the 3 - 4.5 range, the largest of which was a 4.9 at 10:30 during church. Most of these shocks have been felt quite strongly due to their shallow depth (most 2 to 5 kms) and the fact that they have been directly under the city.

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