Jerusalem, September 7, 2017 With a 12-member team of volunteers currently working in the clean-up operation following Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, the ZAKA Search and Rescue organization is also establishing command centers in advance of the expected damage from Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida.

As many of the residents are preparing to flee the hurricane, tens of volunteers from the ZAKA International Rescue Unit, Hatzalah Miami and the Amudim organization have established two command centers to offer assistance to the local communities when weather conditions allow. The command centers are equipped with generators, sleeping bags, tinned food, water and, of course, all the relevant specialist search, rescue and recovery equipment. ZAKA volunteers are also standing by in the New York area. 

ZAKA International Rescue Unit Chief Officer Mati Goldstein: “ZAKA has accumulated extensive experience and significant expertise in tens of natural disasters around the world, offering assistance in search, rescue and recovery to those in need. We intend to offer help in the best and most professional way we can, focusing on evacuation of stranded residents and treating the wounded. The preparation of the last few days means that we are ready, and at the same time, we hope that we will be able to enjoy Rosh Hashana safely with our families.”

ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav: “ZAKA volunteers are currently spread out across Florida and Houston and, if necessary, we will send volunteers to other areas as well. These volunteers are more concerned with helping others than thinking about themselves. They are there, in the name of the Jewish people, to help and show real solidarity in keeping with our values and the promise that ZAKA has taken to help everyone, Jew, Christian or Muslim. ZAKA will help all those in need, regardless of race, religion or gender.”

In addition, Goldstein sent the letter, below, to all ZAKA volunteers and other community personnel in the areas in the hurricane’s path to offer important advice on how to operate to the benefit and safety of the residents.