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Money best way to help attack victims

As rescue workers continue activities at the site of the lastweek’s World Trade Center attack, state and local emergency reliefofficials are encouraging citizens who want to help to considerfinancial contributions to the effort.

After speaking with New York officials, Mississippi EmergencyManagement Agency (MEMA) officials said an overwhelming responsehas exceeded current demand for rescue and recovery efforts. Novolunteers, donations of equipment or goods are needed now.

“They have plenty of help now,” said Clifford Galey, LincolnCounty Civil Defense coordinator.

Galey said New York officials are working through stateemergency management offices across the country to request helpwhen needed. State offices will then filter the requests forassistance down to local emergency agencies.

“They’re passing along what they need and don’t need,” Galeysaid.

In a letter to local civil defense offices, MEMA ExecutiveDirector Robert Latham said long-term needs of families areexpected to be paramount.

“Families will face many problems involving personal finances,health services, home preservation and educational obligations tochildren,” Latham said.

With financial considerations in mind, Latham said the publiccould make a contribution to the New York State World Trade CenterRelief Fund. Citizens may call (800) 801-8092 or send donations toP.O. Box 5028, Albany, NY 12205.

On a cautious note, Galey urged citizens to make relief causesthey are confident with and “not just anybody who calls.”

“We don’t want people to get taken trying to donate to thisdisaster,” Galey said.

While money is the focus now, Galey said volunteers are liningup to go to New York if needed. He said there had been about 12calls from volunteer firefighters, emergency services personnel andothers.

“I feel like if we put out the call, people here will respond,”Galey said.

For now, though, Galey said state and local emergency servicesagencies are taking their cues from New York.

“People are going to need things,” Galey said. “They just don’tknow at this point exactly what and when.”