By 4B Disaster Response Network
About the 4B Disaster Response Network (4B DRN): Formed in the weeks following Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017, the 4B Disaster Response Network is a coalition of churches whose mission is to mobilize volunteers to reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ through serving people affected by disasters.
How did your organization pivot/adapt during Winter Storm Uri? Did the change impact the people you serve, if at all?
When the 4B Area – communities located from the Beltway to the Beach and Brazoria County to the Bay – was impacted by the 2021 Winter Storm Uri, we placed a pause on our Hurricane Harvey rebuilds in order to respond to this more pressing issue. We fielded 287 requests for assistance from area homeowners and ultimately were able to provide repairs to 89 homes in a four-week period. Among those homes we provided a total “re-pipe” of 23 homes with the assistance of 20 licensed plumbers who volunteered to serve with us from all over the country. By mid-March, we had completed the winter storm work and turned our attention back to those still impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
How many people does your organization help every month/year? Any volunteers?
Although the number of projects varies from month to month based on the extent of the work needed and the availability of volunteers, on average we serve two to three homes each month. To provide some perspective, in 2021, we registered 2,674 volunteers providing 26,953 hours of volunteer labor in the 4B Area neighborhoods. We employ a small staff of two full-time construction leads and four part-time assistants in a variety of capacities. Otherwise, we are dependent on volunteers to carry out the mission of the 4B DRN.
How did you use the Moody Foundation grant?
The Moody Foundation grant related to Winter Storm Uri was instrumental in helping us secure much-needed plumbing supplies. The local market was ill prepared for the effects of four days below freezing and inventory for plumbing supplies was exhausted immediately.
With funding in hand, we were able to order plumbing supplies from other areas of the country and have them delivered to us so we never had to pause our response to area homeowners. Additionally, we were able to provide local hotel accommodations for families displaced by the effects of the storm and for the volunteer licensed plumbers who came to serve from outside the area.
Where can the community go to find more information on how to volunteer, donate to your organization and/or a schedule of upcoming events?
The 4B Disaster Response Network is currently in the process of transforming a storage warehouse into an “Operations Center” which will act as a shelter for 75 to 90 people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and then house volunteers who come to assist from outside the area once the shelter is no longer needed. This is a long-term commitment on the part of the 4B DRN to serve their communities for decades to come.
To learn more about the 4B Disaster Relief Network Operations Center and take a virtual tour, visit https://4bresponse.org/prepared/.