Skip to comments.Arkansas - Gov. Huckabee announces KARE Force - Volunteer pilots reunite families after hurricane
Posted on 09/08/2005 10:50:03 PM PDT by HAL9000
Little Rock -- Sept. 8 -- All agencies of Arkansas state government continue to participate in Operation KARE as the week winds down. Operation KARE, the Katrina Assistance and Relief Effort, is designed to assist evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. Operation KARE was organized in the days following the hurricane by Gov. Mike Huckabee.
An Operation KARE command center continues to operate at the state Capitol.
Huckabee on Thursday announced the Arkansas KARE Force, a fleet of private aircraft available to reunite families and take care of other special needs of the evacuees. The Operation KARE Force is being coordinated by John Knight, the director of the state Department of Aeronautics.
"We have many people in our state who own airplanes and want to do their part," the governor said. "This gives them an outlet. The Aeronautics Department will keep an inventory of planes that are available for use, collect mission requests and then try to match each mission with a plane and pilots."
Those wanting to donate the use of private aircraft should call (501) 376-6781.
The governor's office and the Operation KARE task force continue to work with evacuee camps operated by various church and non-profit organizations. The goal is to ensure the needs of evacuees are met statewide. Representatives from the governor's office, the state Department of Emergency Management, the Arkansas State Police, the state Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies are manning the command center at the Capitol.
John Brackin of the governor's office is the Operation KARE coordinator.
The Operation KARE toll-free telephone number is 1-877-2-WE-KARE (1-877-293-5273) for those needing or offering assistance. Those needing or offering assistance also are encouraged to go to the KARE website at www.kare.arkansas.gov.
Huckabee will appear this evening from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on a special telethon on the Arkansas Educational Television Network. The telethon will raise money for hurricane victims and provide information on the state's efforts to assist the evacuees. Those wishing to make donations may call 1-800-662-2386.
Meanwhile, a special fund has been set up for those wishing to give money specifically to help evacuees in Arkansas. Those wishing to give should send checks made out to Operation KARE and mail them to Operation KARE, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201. The fund will be administered by the state Department of Finance and Administration.
"I've been proud of the people of Arkansas," Huckabee said. "We've had calls from every county with offers of assistance. Giving to the Operation KARE fund is a way to help since many of the evacuees will be in our state for months."
In addition to their efforts to help evacuees in Arkansas, the Department of Emergency Management, the Arkansas National Guard, the Arkansas State Police, the state Crime Laboratory and the state Forestry Commission have had personnel in Louisiana and Mississippi. The National Guard now has almost 2,000 Arkansans on active duty. The Air National Guard already has moved 59 tons of supplies. Among other developments:
The Arkansas Department of Economic Development is assisting business owners displaced by the hurricane in relocating their businesses to Arkansas, either on a temporary basis or permanently. Those interested in relocation sites may call Steve Jones, the department's building and sites manager, at (501) 682-7311.
The state Insurance Department has deployed representatives to shelters to assist in answering evacuees' questions about insurance.
The state Department of Education continues to work with local school districts to enroll the children of evacuees in the public schools. The state Department of Higher Education continues to work with colleges and universities to get students enrolled. Out-of-state tuition rates and fees are being waived at all public universities and most two-year schools for those from the impacted areas. The state Department of Workforce Education continues to work with adult education centers and literacy councils to provide services for those evacuees wanting to be in basic adult education courses, GED classes and English as a second language classes.
"This is only a small sample of what's going on," the governor said. "Every state agency is involved to some extent. We're working night and day to be a good neighbor to our fellow Americans."
The Operation KARE toll-free telephone number continues to be staffed at 1-877-2-WE-KARE (1-877-293-5273) for those needing or offering assistance.
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