Proulx Oil & Propane Assists Epping Church with Disaster Relief Trailer
Al Page, disaster relief director at the New Hampshire Baptist Association, has been working for the past year to finish one of New England's only disaster relief trailers in preparation for another natural disaster.
With help from the Baptist Convention of New England, as well as many other local businesses, Page was able to help fill a need that became evident after Hurricane Sandy.
"The need became more apparent during Hurricane Sandy in Connecticut and New York," Page said. "There were not enough shower-laundry facilities to meet the needs of volunteer workers."
Work on the unit started in April 2013 and took roughly a year to complete, with much of the time spent on planning and shopping for the materials.
With the recent flood history throughout the state, Page felt it was important to finish the trailer before all the snow melted.
"It was important to get the unit operational before possible spring flooding events," Page said. "New Hampshire experienced the '100 year' flood several years in a row and we wanted to be ready."
Though many people may not have heard of a disaster relief trailer, they are not foreign to the New Hampshire area.
"I have used similar shower units when responding to disasters with New England teams," Page said. "In the 2006 New Hampshire flood recovery, a shower/laundry unit was brought in from North Carolina."
The disaster relief trailer is one of only three shower units in New England, with one in Vermont as well as New York.
The completed trailer contains four private shower stalls, toilets and two washer/dryer laundry units, and only requires a garden hose connection, a site or interior plumbing connection to drain, an outside electric outlet and propane tanks.
The unit is already scheduled to be used by two New Hampshire churches over the summer. Mission teams regularly come to New Hampshire to help with construction, and the trailer will help provide adequate shower and laundry facilities for those groups.
Many local businesses contributed to he success of the project as well. Goedecke Interiors in Bedford, was helpful in working with Redlon and Johnson Plumbing Supply in Manchester to get a great price on the showers and plumbing supplies. Proulx Oil and Propane supplied the water heater and installed the propane piping for the clothes dryers, furnace and water heater.
Members from different churches in the area also helped with construction, and the cost of the project came to roughly $12,000.
The unit will be stored at Providence Baptist Church on Route 27, where there is easy access for parking and available water and power.
Page hopes the trailer will remind people that anything can happen and when it does, there are people there to help.
"We and others are preparing for disaster," Page said. "We have had some big ones but the Hurricane of 1938, Sandy or Katrina could strike again. Help is available."
The original article, on Seacoastonline.com, can be viewed here.