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Relief efforts take hold in Florida, Louisiana.

Relief supplies and personnel from communities around the country poured into the storm-battered cities and towns of South Florida and Louisiana last week as efforts got underway to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Andrew.

Responding to dramatic news coverage of the storms destruction and to the special disaster relief networks organized by the Florida League of Cities and Louisiana Municipal Association, local governments and municipal workers with vitally needed skills and equipment were among the first wave of assistance reaching many of the devastated areas.

By mid-week, the flow of outside resources had reached a saturation point, however, and officials in Florida and Louisiana were asking that offers of assistance be coordinated and scheduled to ease the immediate crush and to be available as follow-up plans took shape.

The Municipal Association of South Carolina, Georgia Municipal Association, and North Carolina League of Municipalities pitched in by soliciting help for affected communities and coordinating assistance efforts within their states. These state municipal leagues and others are working to coordinate a groundswell of support:from: communities of all sizes that are willing and eager to help.

President Bush, during a second visit to storm-damaged areas, announced that he would invoke his authority to provide emergency federal funding to cover all costs beyond insurance coverage to rebuild public facilities and infrastructure destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Andrew. Without such a declaration, state and local governments would have to put up a 25 percent match for the federal disaster assistance.

NLC President Glenda Hood, whose city of Orlando escaped the storm and has been providing its own relief efforts, called the news "welcome and much-needed. Our nation, our leaders and our people have a proud and strong tradition of coming to each other's aid, and this is prime example of what that means," Hood said.

Continuing needs most often reported in stricken areas included security and law enforcement assistance, personnel and equipment to assist in clearance and disposal of debris, and support services and facilities for homeless people.

In the category of small things that can make a big difference, Lynn Tipton of the Florida League of Cities noted that manual can-openers have become a scarce and very precious item because of the sudden dependence upon canned goods for food.

Communities in Florida and neighboring states including Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina were creating direct linkages to channel relief supplies and donations.

Where to send financial contributions

Because of the major damage suffered in southern Dade County, the Dade County League of Cities has established a central donations account to handle outside donations. Contributions, made out to a specific city, can be sent to Russ Marchner, Executive Director, Dade League of Cities, 7480 Fairway Drive #209, Miami Lakes FL 33014. Donations to Homestead can be sent to City of Homestead Relief Fund, c/o Community Bank, 28801 S.W. 157th Avenue, Homestead FL 33033.

The response networks of the Florida League of Cities and Louisiana Municipal Association will continue to monitor needs and relay offers of assistance to stricken communities. Contacts for those offices and other relief efforts are as follows:

* Louisiana Municipal Association, (800) 234-8274, fax (504) 344-3057.

* Florida League of Cities/Cities Outreach Program Effort COPE), (904) 222- 9684.

* Municipal Association of South Carolina, 803) 799-9574, fax (803) 799-9520. 9 Project COPE Florida League of Cities 201 West Park Avenue P.O. Box 1757 Tallahassee, Fla. 32302 phone (904) 222- 9684 fax (904) 222-3806 Contact: Ann Jenkins

* The Salvation Army Hurricane Andrew P.O. Box 270848 Tampa, Fla. 33688

* The American Red Cross Disaster Relief P.O. Box 37243 Washington, D.C. 20013 1 (800) 842-2200
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Title Annotation:Hurricane Andrew
Author:Arndt, Randy
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 7, 1992
Words:606
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