Disaster Management Students Respond to New York City after Hurricane Sandy

Students from the Ohio Christian University Disaster Management and Relief Program spent last week responding to New York City in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The team, led by OCU students, Kyle Landenberger and Dustin Hube, joined forces with The Staten Island Christian Union Church, and Helping Hands, a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization, that provides hands-on assistance to communities around the world.  Alongside the church, and All Hands, the team was able to serve multiple families suffering after the storm.  The 14 member OCU team was able to split several of the days, effectively doubling the effort.  The effects of the storm caused massive amounts of flooding and water damage.  Thousands of homes on Staten Island were affected.  According to Landenberger, “Flooding destroyed everything in many of the houses.”

OCU is one of fewer than 150 colleges and universities in the country which is training students to respond to emergencies and disasters.  The trip allowed the students to put their unique training into practice gaining real-world experience responding to a disaster and addressing the psychical and spiritual needs of those impacted.  Director Thad Hicks stated, “In the classroom they learn the theory of emergency and disaster work, but this sort of experience allows them to put the theory into practice, allowing for a more complete education. 

The team was hosted by Pastor Linus Sailes of The Staten Island Christian Union Church, and made up of the following students: Leah Laird, Dannyel Butte, Tempest Norris, Jessica Roaden, Karissa Saultz, Holly Wickham, Josh Delph, Dustin Hube, Jay Allen, Garrett vonBerge, Kyle Landenberger, Joevanie Green, Eric Fortell, and Matthew Golden.