By Ashley Dooley Wohlgemuth

By Kisha Thomas

We’ve assisted 431 individuals affected by the flooding of the Missouri River

Click here to read the entire June 2019 newsletter

Devastation does not discriminate, and it’s an important fact we’ve had to learn time and time again here at Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

One of our very own employees, Rika, has been affected by life’s unforeseen circumstances when her home town flooded in March.

For her, this was not a new experience. Rika has experienced flooding, damage, and clean up since 1993, having to evacuate four different times! This recent flooding was no less horrific, likening the experience to being in a war zone, packing as quickly as possible, and not knowing what will be left when she returns.

Just like hundreds of others, we walked with Rika and her home town as they began the slow process of rebuilding and recovering.

At Catholic Charities, we’ve walked alongside hundreds of families as they recovered from natural disasters. Most recently, we assisted 161 households affected by the March flooding of the Missouri river, totaling 431 individuals served and $7,000 worth of emergency assistance gift cards provided. Following disasters, we provide long-term recovery assistance to survivors in the places where help is otherwise not available and funnel in volunteers to assist in cleanup and rebuilding.

We’ve also helped those survivors of the Oak Grove and Smithville tornados.

What we’ve seen across the board is the necessity of having an emergency plan in place, as 48% of households lack emergency supplies in the event of a disaster. For our 27-county service region, we have these tips.

In the event of a flood-

  1. Unplug all technology and move to the highest place in your home
  2. Turn off the electricity in your home
  3. Fill your car’s gas tank
  4. Gather flotation devices if possible

General preparedness-

  1. Keep at least one portable phone charger ready
  2. Keep a copy of all important documents in a safety box nearby
  3. Procure an emergency kit with a filtration water bottle, an extra set of warm clothes for each member of the family, a first aid kit, and three days’ worth of non-perishable food, and a flashlight with extra batteries
  4. Keep a copy of your immediate family members’ phone numbers handy

To read more about our work with flood survivors, read the article in The Catholic Key here.

If you’ve been affected by the recent flooding or other natural disasters, please contact Kisha Thomas at


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