Dededo, Guam -- A strong partnership between local, GovGuam, federal and voluntary agencies is the key to meeting emergency needs of disaster victims, according to disaster officials. "No one agency can do it all," said Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Carwile. "But together we can make a difference for people hurt by Typhoon Chata'an."
While the public is aware of the vital role volunteer agencies play in providing emergency assistance during a disaster, people often don't realize that these organizations continue to help long after the emergency phase has passed.
Volunteer agencies, always among the first to provide disaster assistance, are active partners throughout the recovery period. During the height of the disaster, volunteers worked hand-in-hand with local and federal emergency response teams to meet the immediate needs of thousands of Guam residents who required emergency food, clothing, shelter and other services, and the involvement of these volunteer agencies does not end there.
In Guam, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (GUVOAD) plays an important role in sharing information and coordinating assistance from many volunteer agencies. Also at work addressing unmet recovery needs is the newly formed long-term recovery committee called Community Partners in Recovery (CPR), an outgrowth of GUVOAD.
This committee's mission is to provide recovery, rebuilding and repair assistance to Guam residents whose homes and/or personal property were severely damaged or destroyed in typhoons Chata'an and Halong. As part of their rebuilding mission, the committee is also looking at ways to rebuild and repair homes in a manner that will improve typhoon resistance.
Community Partners in Recovery (CPR), in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and GovGuam's Agency for Human Resource Development (AHRD), will be sending out 24 needs assessment teams over the next few weeks to gather information from affected Guam residents. The teams will document unmet recovery needs of the families. Based on the needs assessment, the committee will develop a community-wide recovery strategy. Questions pertaining to the program can be directed to staff members of Community Partners in Recovery by calling 734-5062.
The committee meets weekly. Local membership consists of AHRD, American Red Cross, Catholic Social Services, Christian Reformed Guam Mission, Church of the Nazarene, Guam United Methodist Church, Guam Contractors Association, Guam Civil Defense, Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA), Habitat for Humanity, Legal Consultant Robert Hartsock and The Salvation Army.