Community Relations: Teamwork Towards Better Understanding

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Release date: 
February 3, 1999
Release Number: 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Community Relation teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Arkansas' Department of Emergency Services (OES) will be making a second sweep of the Little Rock and Beebe areas this coming Friday, February 5 to make sure that everyone has the information needed to get disaster assistance. The teams are working together to make sure people affected by January's tornadoes and severe storms know what government disaster assistance is available to begin the recovery process.

"We know that many survivors of these terrible January storms lost a great deal-they really need a lot of information on disaster assistance," State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell said. "The disaster assistance workers on these Community Relations teams either know the answers or know where the answers can be found."

Community Relations field officers have been speaking to church, community and other groups, explaining the types of assistance available and how people can apply. In addition, they distribute information and listen to people's concerns.

Because of the need to provide timely and accurate information to disaster victims, both federal and state agencies activated disaster reservists to work in affected communities. Six teams will be participating in the Feb. 5 sweeps.

Initially, Community Relations teams focused on meeting with government officials, mayors and emergency management coordinators. Then the teams met with representatives of organizations dealing with special groups such as the elderly and blind, as well as church leaders. They remain available to communities for as long as needed to assist people through the long recovery process.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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