Volunteers of Aid during Disaster (VOAD):
Cleburne Emergency Mgmt Randy Jenkins
Burleson Emergency Mgmt: Stacy Singleton 817-447-5400 Ext 220
Rep. Rob Orr Office during Holiday Weekend: 817-235-7689
Cleburne Area Hurricane Relief Efforts
Cleburne has 150 Rita Evacuees - As of noon Friday Cleburne has 150 Hurricane Rita Evacuees at the Senior Citizen Center and Civic Center. "The Potluck relay begins again," says Jackie Seward, Food Coordinator. Lunches and dinners are needed through next week (no breakfasts.) The number is due to increase, but at this time it is 150. If your group can provide a potluck meal, call Jackie Seward at 817-645-9851
Hundreds of Sandwiches Needed - Nancy Holt of the Salvation Army says hundreds of sandwiches are needed at the Rest Stops on I35 by noon Friday. The need will continue for 24-48 hours.
The rests stops are at the old Luby's Restaurant south of Burleson and the actual Hiway Rest Stop just south of there.
Sandwiches may also be delivered to the Salvation Army office at 111 S. Anglin, Cleburne.
Needs are any kind of sandwiches, any kind of bread. The only requirement is that they be cut in half and wrapped in clear plastic or zip lok bags so people can see what they are getting.
Already Field Street, Bethel, First Baptist and Kings Daughters are on tap for 400 collectively.
"The need is expected to continue next 24-48 hours. Pass the word as you can, and thanks," says Jackie Seward, who was Food Coordinator for the Katrina Evacuee shelter. Any questions, call Jackie at 817-645-9851.
September 22 - As Hurricane Rita steams toward the coast, 1.3 million people are evacuating from the Texas Gulf. The Salvation Army is serving drinks and sandwiches to people on the interstate who stop at the old Luby's in Burleson. After an emergency meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, the Salvation Army will know more.
Randy Jenkins, Cleburne's Emergency Management Coordinator, says FEMA has asked Cleburne to be on standby to open shelters. There is no word on actual evacuees arriving at this point.
Theresa Richardson (Code Enforcement Officer for Cleburne) said right now the city's priority is to be prepared for flooding if the storm lingers over us.
Texas took in 373,000 Katrina evacuees. Now 1.3 million people are evacuating the Gulf Coast. News reports say hotels and motels are full until Oklahoma City.
CNN reports that people are pushing their cars along the freeways to save gas.
Editor's Note: Our son lives in Gilchrist, on Bolivar peninsula near Galveston. It took him 16 hours to drive to Stephenville starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night. Traffic was moving at 6 MPH until he got to Huntsville. The banks ran out of money and closed at noon Wednesday. Since he lives in a house on stilts on the Intercoastal Waterway, he does not expect his house to be there after the hurricane hits. --Alden and Micki Nellis
News Sept. 19, 2005 - The Cleburne Katrina Evacuee Center was officially closed at noon Thursday, September 15, 12 days after it was opened. All but three had been placed in local housing. Those three were moved to local motels.
Evacuees who have been placed in local housing have their rent guaranteed for at least two months by the Salvation Army. The Central Church of Christ at 200 N. Wilhite is the collection point/ warehouse for clothing, food, household items and furniture. No more clothing is needed at this time.
The Salvation Army says that housing is still needed for Evacuees not in the shelter who were living with friends or relatives. Household items are still needed for all Evacuees. (See list in last posting.) Cash donations to the Salvation Army earmarked for Johnson County Katrina Disaster are still needed. The Salvation Army office is at 111 S. Anglin Street, Cleburne, TX 76033, phone 817-558-1296.
It is our understanding that some Evacuees have received a little FEMA money, but that FEMA is cutting back on checks until inspectors inspect their homes in New Orleans. The City of Cleburne and the Salvation Army have provided the immediate cash outlay. FEMA has promised to reimburse the City of Cleburne sometime in the future. Cleburne provided the cots and blankets from Civil Defense supplies in storage since the 1950s.
Many Evacuees have found work locally. As of last week, 33 Evacuee students had enrolled in Cleburne schools - 10 in high school and 23 in other grades.
Jackie Seward, Food Coordinator for the Salvation Army, reports:
"From Sunday 9/4 to Wednesday 9/14 the Cleburne Katrina Evacuee Shelter served 1380 hot meals. This included 3 hot meals a day until the last two days when most evacuees had found housing locally or moved on to other places where they had family. As people began to find jobs lunches were packed for them and snacks and cold drinks & coffee were available around the clock. Food was provided by local churches, several area business and two private groups. The Salvation Army provided volunteers, refrigerators, freezers, and other essentials for feeding a large group. "
Editorial Comment: The Community, the Salvation Army, city and county government came together to provide shelter, aid and comfort to the Evacuees in what was truly Cleburne's finest hour. Perhaps we should have a monthly "New Orleans Night" to celebrate this spirit, help Evacuees adjust, and give them a chance to visit those with whom they shared close quarters for two weeks.
Sept. 11, 11 a.m. - Evacuees are being moved into apartments and houses. Items needed have changed. As of today, 27 Evacuees are still at the Senior Center. Many have found jobs.
Here's What's Needed Now - Take all Items to Central Church of Christ, 200 N. Wilhite.
Food Items: Canned food, can openers, Kool Aid, sugar, diabetic supplies and food, instant potatoes, oatmeal, flour, beans, rice, powdered milk, peanut butter, salt, pepper.
Household Items: Playpens and car seats, assorted bags for storage, laundry detergent and bleach, plastic hangers, pots and pans, toasters, dishes, cups, silverware, queen and king size bed sheets, 10 mini-sewing kits, TVs and radios, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners.
Health care items: Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, over the counter medicines, tweezers
Personal Care: Gold Bond ethnic products
Clothing: Pajamas for children, men's black or brown belts
Other: Bicycles for workers
The first arrival of 80 evacuees settle in at the Cleburne Senior Citizen Center. More Photos
Old News As It Occurred: (Current News always supersedes old instructions)
Sept. 7, 7 p.m. - About 30 Evacuees are spending the night in the Senior Citizens Center, but there are about 55 taking meals there. These include displaced people who are staying in motels and with families. The Food Service, coordinated by Jackie Seward, is even packing lunches for those who have found jobs. Some have gone to work for the City of Cleburne.
Meals are covered until Monday.
Immediate needs are 20 luggage on wheels, jobs, and host families. There is a bulletin board at the Senior Center where jobs can be posted. Employees can also talk to the Salvation Army or someone at the Senior Center if they have job openings.
The goal is to get all the Evacuees settled somewhere by Monday so the overnight shelter can be closed. It can be re-opened if more Evacuees come in.
Community support for the Evacuees has been overwhelming.
The latest news of can be found at http://www.CleburneArea.info
Sept. 7, 11:00 a.m. - About 40 Evacuees remain in the Senior Citizen Center. Many have been reunited with families, placed in host homes, or gotten jobs and moved out. The Civic Center is still ready to receive more if they arrive. It is not known if Cleburne will get more. Read "Here's How to Help" below.
Sept. 5, 2005, 3 p.m. - Fifty Six Evacuees are now in the Senior Citizen Center. Two more busloads were due to arrive Saturday but have not. The Civic Center is set to receive them if and when they show up. About 25 of the original 80 have been either picked up by families or provided bus tickets to go to their families, or adopted by Host Families.
Take donations of clothing, toiletries, nonperishable food to the Central Church of Christ, 200 N. Wilhite. Especially needed are new underwear - mens undershorts, boxer shorts and socks; women's underwear and socks, hairbrushes, mirrors. Open daily and into the night.
Sign up to be a Host Family to take evacuees into your home - Central Church of Christ, 200 N. Wilhite. Background checks are done before Evacuees are placed. You may specify how many, whether children or not, smokers or not, etc.
Volunteer to sit with evacuees during the night in two-hour shifts from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Two persons required at a time, either two men or a man and woman per shift. Sign up at Central Church of Christ, 200 N. Wilhite.
Volunteer to help sort donations - Central Church of Christ, 200 N. Wilhite.
Perishable food - Take to Senior Citizen Center, behind Civic Center.
Meals - Jackie Seward is Food Coordinator. She asks churches or groups to commit to providing one pot luck type meal a week for the next month. "At that time we can see what the needs are and reschedule based on existing needs." She has the schedule of which group is providing each meal. Contact Jackie Seward:
Home 817-645-9851 or 817-648-6030 (cell)
Sept.5, 2005, 11:00 a.m. - Cleburne had 76 Hurricane Evacuees at the Senior Citizens Center, and are expecting maybe 200 more.
Cleburne churches have stepped up to provide 3 hot meals a day for those dislocated by the hurricane. Meals are on the order of an old fashioned pot-luck. Our goal is to have the larger churches providing evening meals and the smaller ones bringing breakfasts and lunches. As of Sunday evening there are 76 people in the shelter but as those numbers increase churches might want to combine their contributions.
We need groups to commit to one meal a week for the next month. At that time we can see what the needs are and reschedule based on existing needs.
To volunteer to provide meals you may call Jackie Seward:
Home 817-645-9851 or 817-648-6030 (cell)
Midnight Sept. 3 - A busload of 80 evacuees arrived in Cleburne straight from the Superdome at 6 p.m. Saturday. By 8 p.m., with only an hour's notice of their imminent arrival, city officials, emergency personnel, police and fire departments had inflated air mattresses, made the beds and cots, given them tetanus shots, taken them by bus to the high school for showers, given them clean clothes, and were feeding them their first hot meal in six days - Pizza from a local restaurant and spaghetti cooked by the Bono volunteer fire department. Evacuees were settling down for a night's sleep on a full stomach, in clean surroundings in the Senior Citizen Center, and with air conditioning.
At least two more busloads were due to arrive Sunday. They will be put in the Civic Center.
News Sept 3 - 200 refugees will arrive in Cleburne on Sunday, Sept. 4. The City Council meets at 7:30 AM Sunday morning at City Hall to plan. Donations should be taken to the Salvation Army. Click on Salvation Army link to see list of needed items.
It is thought that the first wave will go to the Civic Center.
News, Sept 2 - Cleburne City Manager Chester Nolen received a call from FEMA telling him to prepare for refugees. Firemen immediately started readying the Civic Center, and will ready the Santa Fe School and Brown's Gym next. The refugees will arrive soon. People should take donated items to the Salvation Army, 111 S. Anglin St., Cleburne. They need food, clothing, diapers, formula, personal items, water, and money.
News: Sept 1, 2005
Mayor Ted Reynolds hosted a meeting Thursday Night, September 1 for local organizations to coordinate relief efforts. Attending were representatives of area churches, relief organizations, schools, city and county officers and citizens.
Here's the consensus in a nutshell:
Goods and money will be needed in Johnson County as the refugees come in. The Salvation Army is the most active local relief agency, and has already helped 130 refugees.
The Salvation Army is helping the victims find housing. The Red Cross is not active in Johnson County in locating housing or providing shelters.
This is a long term situation. Victims can not go back to their homes for at least 60 - 90 days. Many will choose to move here.
We must help the victims now with food, clothing and shelter. We must enroll the children in school. We must then help them become self-supporting by helping them find jobs and permanent housing.
Money donated to national organizations will go to immediate relief efforts. DO NOT send goods to national organizations. They are asking for money, not goods that will have to be sorted and shipped. DO NOT organize a group and go to New Orleans or the coast to help. You will probably be turned back, and will be in the way.
Money donated to national charities like Red Cross and Salvation Army can be earmarked for local use if you write Johnson County on your check.
There is a possibility that Santa Fe School and Brown's Gym can be used for shelters. This will have to be coordinated with FEMA.
Mayor Reynolds will call more meetings soon.