• Local church heads to Okla. to help with disaster relief


    LONGWOOD, Fla. - A local church is responding to the need of those impacted by the storm in Oklahoma.

    Northland Church in Longwood is sending a disaster response team to Moore, Okla.

    Volunteers from the church in left early Tuesday on a 20-hour journey to the disaster zone.

    Before the trip, the team prepared a disaster-ready mobile kitchen to help cook meals for victims and volunteers.

    "We’ll cook probably two meals a day for as many people as we can handle. When we were in Hurricane Sandy, we were pushing out 2,000 to 2,500 meals a day," said volunteer Gretchen Kerr.

    The volunteers said they have seen devastation before. They stay prepared to leave at a moment's notice, with bags perpetually packed, but they are never quite ready for what they encounter.

    "The devastation is unbelievable. I can’t even imagine what it’s like, so it’s going to be quite a shock even for us. But, when they see folks coming from other areas, it brings just amazing hope. It makes them feel like people care," said Kerr.

    Along with the kitchen, they take a supply trailer. They have three days worth of food inside and everything needed to prepare and serve it.  From there, they rely on emergency officials and the community to restock.

    The church will be taking donations to help with the effort in the coming days. For now, members said the priority is to get there and start helping.

    The volunteers expect to stay in the disaster area for at least 14 days.

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    Local church heads to Okla. to help with disaster relief