Rain, Rain, Go Away

Downtown Peoria Riverfront

Downtown Peoria Riverfront

Although the temperatures will be reaching 83 today, which is just hot enough to make me happy, there is rain the forecast.  I hate to tell ya, but it’s the truth.  Even though we haven’t had rain for a few days, the water has only receeded a small amount.  Roads are still closed, houses are still evacuated, and people still need help.  Today, the AmeriCorps team will be going through a Red Cross training to help with disaster relief.  Hope packages will be distributed soon to families who may be back in their homes but still need assistance due to water damage.  If you would like to help volunteer, you can contact the local Red Cross chapter at 677-7272 or email AmeriCorps at Americorps@chail.org

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Group photo.

This isn't our whole group, but it's a lot of us.

Group photo at the Midwest Food Bank, January 2013.

Illinois River Flooding: Our View

Flood e

View from the museum.

Flood c

Becca’s picturesque view of the flooded train tracks.

Flood b

Another image from Becca, of the river’s height last weekend.

Flood a

The pretty reflection and the clear skies almost hide the fact that this historic flood has already caused major damage.

Flood 2

Volunteers and workers wait behind the sandbag-enforced barriers…

Flood 4

The riverbank…formerly known as Water Street.

Flood d

Alisha does a little wading to get a shot of a submerged road sign.

Flood 3

The picture Alisha took.

Flood 1

Preparations, in the form of thousands of sand bags.

Flood f

A closeup of the sandbags, the city’s best defense against the rising waters.

Pictures taken by Alisha, Becca, and Natalie

Flooding in the Midwest

Flooding in Peoria

Flooding in Peoria

List of flood-related road closings.

Find an emergency shelter.

Resources:

Anyone who needs Red Cross shelter assistance and those interested in volunteering on this relief effort should call their local chapter office at the number below.

Tips for dealing with floods:

When a Flood is Imminent

  • Be prepared! Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Don’t forget to include needed medications.
  • If advised to evacuate your home, do so immediately.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If possible, bring in outdoor furniture and move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances.

During a Flood

  • Do not walk through moving water. As little as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can make you fall.
  • If you have to walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

After a Flood

  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency

Stay safe, everyone!

Meet a Real Member…

Not to say Natalie isn’t real, she just is the boss lady, not a member.  But I am!  My name is Rebecca, more commonly known as Becca, one of the babies of the AmeriCorps team.  This is my first term as a member and I took on the task of 675 hours, one of the four choices of terms you can have.  I am located at the Children’s Home Agency itself in one of the hottest offices upstairs.  I do a handful of different things here.  I either am emailing or making phone calls offering our services to local non-profits, working on a project for one of our events, making lists of things that need to be done, or building my relationship with the other members of the team.

I’m a Social Work major and have learned so much from being a member by gaining hands on experience that you can’t get from the classroom.  I try to stay busy in my free time when I’m not working one of three jobs or doing homework, by coming up with ideas of what I can do to help in the community.  I enjoy long walks on the beach and watching the stars…. Actually I really like taking naps and eating as much food as I can!

That about sums me up!  Happy blogging!

This is me, freezing at the Peoria Court House for HATCH

This is me, freezing at the Peoria Court House for HATCH

A-Podding We Will Go (Happy Earth Day!)

Photo from http://sacramentoscoop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/earth-day-2009-sacramento.jpg

Happy Earth Day! (click through for photo source)

It (finally) feels like Spring in Peoria! We’re celebrating by spending the day outside collecting materials for our seed pod making party this afternoon. Together with a local after school program, we’ll be getting our hands dirty and celebrating Earth Day by making portable seed pods (sometimes called seed balls or seed bombs) for easy, effortless gardening.  Here’s a great guide to making your own seed pods. It’s easy and fun!

Wildflowers growing along a highway in Texas. Imagine how much nicer your morning commute could be with a few well-placed seed pods!

Wildflowers growing along a highway in Texas. Imagine how much nicer your morning commute could be with a few well-placed seed pods! (click for source)

Happy Earth Day!

 

“In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

-Margaret Atwood