The residents of Ocean Springs are in need. Homes were flooded and all lost to the storm. The city expects an additional 5,000 population of evacuees from other regions. To date no FEMA and little of Red Cross has shown up in the community. The city employees, despite losing their own homes, have set up relief assistance and a non-profit organization to accept donations through the direction of Ms. Packard's nephew, John Edwards, who is the city attorney. A quote from John on Friday, Sept. 9:
"Everything is needed: manpower, four to five people to adopt a block or street and help residents to dig out mud, tear out dry wall and repair; building materials, roofing nails, drywall, electrical outlets and supplies and studs.
What we really need even before that is tarps, to block the holes in homes. Many people could survive the immediate if we can block out the elements. Other needs include MRE meals and blow up mattresses. Ocean Springs is accepting survivors from other communities and has little to no supplies to support them. Beyond that, I am wearing what some one donated. We have lost everything and all and anything will be appreciated."
John then asked, "Do you have any cartons of Tetanus and Hepatitis B vaccine hanging around? We really need building inspectors to help identify what can be rebuilt and check that people are not living in dangerous situations."
A sense of humor followed asking "Do you have any ordinances allow trailers in front yards?" When I stated "Not," he laughed and said "Gee, neither do we but this is an emergency situation so the rules are suspended; it is good I am the city attorney.
"The needs are unbelievable and there are few places to purchase needed goods. The nearest supplies of any kind are in Tallahassee (300 miles), Mobile (70 miles) or Atlanta (380 miles)."
One needs to realize most vehicles were lost in the storm. The community has been able to get electricity turned on where there are houses left. They have also set up warehouse facilities to house donations and distribute to those in need.
Everything will be used and any items received not used in Ocean Springs will be distributed to neighboring communities.
Donations may be delivered to the City of Vermillion Missouri Valley Recycling Facility. An account is being set up for financial donations at First National Bank in Vermillion. Financial donations will go directly to the Ocean Springs non-profit organization.
Suggestions for donations from Vermillion citizens include:
? Personal care, toiletries, and bathroom items.
Think, what do you pack when traveling � basic needs: Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap,
shampoo /cream rinse, razor,
face cloth and towels, toilet paper, hair brush, comb, hair dryer, iron, diapers, first aid items, aspirin, ibuprophen, peroxide, alcohol, band-aids, antibiotic cream, needles and thread, matches or lighters, antiseptic swabs, bandages, allergy medicines.
? Clothing items, such as underwear, nightwear, t-shirts, jeans, etc.
Miscellaneous items, such as sheets, blankets, pillows, clocks, watches, pots, pans, dishes and utensils.