Biloxi team gearing up for Harvey relief effort

The Biloxi Fire Museum, working with its partners from the New Sharon (Iowa) Volunteer Fire Department, is putting together a relief trip the Harvey disaster zone, and the effort is looking for online contributions.

Four and five-member teams from Biloxi and New Sharon will be focusing their efforts on the damaged homes of first responders in an as-yet-undecided small town in the Harvey disaster zone.

Right now, the Biloxi team is seeking monetary donations through a GoFundMe account, which will be used for building supplies. To visit the GoFundMe account for the West End Hose Co. No. 3 Fire Museum, click here.

“We’re not taking supplies, other than building materials,” Boney said. “We’ve found that bringing supplies diminishes our mission, which is to actually rehab homes of first responders who are typically too busy taking care of the community instead of repairing their own homes.

“We have to be self-contained and we already have a good deal of tools and equipment that we take with us. However, if someone wants to drop off a gift card, we’ll pass it along to the victims we’ll be working with. They can drop off a gift card at any Biloxi fire station.”

The team effort between Biloxi and New Sharon dates back to the wake of Katrina, when New Sharon Chief Steve Gerard led a team of volunteers to Biloxi.

Since then, a Biloxi team has worked with the Iowans on relief efforts in the wake of Hurricanes Isaac in Louisiana and Sandy in New Jersey, and tornadoes in Mississippi and Oklahoma.

“We keep in touch,” Boney said. “We first began talking Friday morning, and then on Sunday we started getting serious, when we saw the severity.”

The destination of the Biloxi and New Sharon effort will be an area where the most help is needed, Boney said.

“The damaged homes of first responders is usually our first mission, and there’s always a need for that,” said Boney, who after working non-stop after Katrina was surprised to find his own home repaired by volunteers. “We’ll spend several days to a couple weeks there getting them back on their feet, letting them know that there is life after a storm.”
Visit the GoFundMe account
See photos from a north Mississippi relief trip


News and notes

Day of storm-related programming:  Throughout the day today, Cable One is airing special storm-related programming on Cable 69 to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Katrina and to help educate residents about the dangers of storms and flooding.  To see more about the programs, click here

Visitors Center tribute: You can see “Katrina & Biloxi,” the city’s award-winning documentary, each hour on the hour on the big screen in the Biloxi Visitors Center throughout the day today. You can also buy your own “Katrina Experience” for $15 at the Visitors Center. To see the fasten-your-seatbelt sequence from the documentary, click here.

Weather outlook:  Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue in Biloxi and surrounding areas throughout the week.  To see the latest advisory from the National Weather Service, click here.

Sand bags: Self-serve sand bags (bring your own shovel) are available at the following locations: Todd Migues Ball Park, 425 Parker St.; Popp’s Ferry Soccer Fields, 2150 Popp’s Ferry Road, across from Margaret Sherry Library; and Biloxi Fire Station 8, 8479 Woolmarket Road.

Two council meetings today:The Biloxi City Council will conduct another budget workshop today at 1:30 p.m.., followed by a special-called meeting to declare a weather-related State of Emergency in the City of Biloxi.  To see the agendas, click here