NFDA Efforts Pay Off as Senator Requests Funds for Katrina Funeral Expenses
As a direct result of NFDA's Advocacy Division efforts in Washington, D.C., Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has contacted FEMA regarding supplemental funding for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Click here to view a copy of the letter.
NFDA Volunteers Rise to the Occasion
NFDA continues to provide help where needed in the Gulf Coast region through state associations. To date, more than 700 volunteers have signed up with NFDA, while approximately 40 volunteers have been sent to Gulfport, Miss. and Baton Rouge, La. Volunteers in Gulfport are working with families, conducting funerals, embalming,
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helping with yard work, running errands, and just about anything that the funeral directors need assistance with. They are helping funeral directors get back on their feet. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who have come forward and to those who have been in the Gulf area to assist. Volunteers in Baton Rouge are working to interview families in person or by phone. NFDA has posted a group of photos on its Website of damage done by Hurricane Katrina and the efforts of NFDA volunteers. To view these photos, click here.
House Passes Katrina Volunteer Protection Act
The House of Representatives passed the Katrina Volunteer Protection Act by voice vote September 14. H.R. 3736 specifies that any person or entity that volunteers to render aid to those impacted by Hurricane Katrina will not be liable for any personal injury, property damage or loss, or death, arising out of that aid, as long as the injury is not "willful, wanton, reckless or criminal," or constitute a violation of a federal or state civil rights law.
It preempts state laws if they are inconsistent with H.R. 3736, but does not preempt state laws that provide additional protection from liability. The bill has been forwarded to the Senate, which is expected to pass it next week.
As recovery efforts continue in the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we want to take the opportunity to update you on NFDA's activities and provide you with additional information about the resources available as the efforts by funeral service move forward. We are very proud of how our membership has responded to this crisis.
Because so many Gulf Coast residents have been displaced, you may find yourself in a position to offer help and comfort even if you have not been directly impacted by the hurricane. With that in mind, please allow us to offer some words of support and guidance to you and those in your funeral home who may be able to provide special care to those turning to you for guidance and care.
If we can help you or you would like guidance in any aspect of your service please do not hesitate to call NFDA, 800-228-6332. Thank you for your continued good work.
NFDA'S Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts Move Forward
First Wave of Volunteers Head to Gulf, Donations Pour In
The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) continues to respond to the needs of those funeral directors and communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. MORE
TEAMS BEGIN DEPLOYMENT
......by early Friday evening President-elect Bob Biggins and volunteers bringing needed supplies will convene in Hattiesburg, MS and from there connect with teams of volunteers organized by NFDA in order to relieve south Mississippi funeral service, particularly in the Biloxi/Gulfport areas... Over 375 have volunteered through NFDA... "first wave" team members were targeted by transport and travel routes, proximity and then by availability... all volunteers who have faxed or sent forms should consider themselves "on standby."
Additional teams will head toward south Mississippi over the weekend.
South Louisiana support and relief is "on standby" until security, communications and other logistical matters are resolved.
NFDA Responds to Katrina
Funds Sought to Support Funeral Directors
NFDA announced today that it has activated its Disaster Relief Fund in order to aid funeral directors whose businesses have been damaged or destroyed by the devastation. MORE
NFDA to Aid Funeral Service Hit by Katrina
NFDA extends its deepest concerns and sympathies to all who have lost lives, homes and businesses as Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Funeral service – so critical to disaster response – has also been compromised and, in some cases, rendered unable to serve.
Many caring NFDA-member funeral directors and funeral service suppliers have already asked about volunteering time, money and resources as part of a clean-up and restoration effort. To assist funeral service in the Gulf Coast area, NFDA has again activated the Disaster Relief Fund and has called for volunteers and funeral service supplies.
“All at NFDA are concerned about the way this disaster has impacted scores of funeral homes in Louisiana, Mississippi and surrounding states,” said NFDA Chief Executive Officer Christine Pepper, CAE. “Homes have been crushed; businesses have been washed away. We are assessing the situation as best we can. Our first concern is to do what we can to get these funeral service firms back on their feet. We have made the decision to begin collecting funds, supplies and volunteer names in order to be ready to respond to needs in those states.
“We know we can count on our members and friends to come to the need of their peers, customers and colleagues. I’m sure you will understand that the state executive directors in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are not able to take calls at this time. I hope instead we can share concerns and questions with the entire membership through our Website.”
NFDA asks its members, funeral service suppliers, and domestic and international allied organizations to contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund. All contributions will be directed to support efforts to relieve and support funeral directors affected by Katrina as they work to re-establish business in order to serve families.
To help now:
Lastly, consider donating blood to the American Red Cross on behalf of funeral service. Together, we can help get funeral service back on its feet for Gulf Coast families.
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