LEBANON,Va. -- Community relations officers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Commonwealth of Virginia are reaching out to individuals affected by the severe storms that began on May 24 in Lee, Russell and Tazewell counties.
Team members are going door-to-door in those counties offering individuals and small business owners information about available disaster assistance programs. They also will meet with representatives of community-based agencies, community leaders and public officials.
“We hope folks will talk to the community relations teams and get the information they need to help them recover,” said Michael Cline, Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s state coordinating officer. “Residents should know that our community relations people always wear FEMA or VDEM ID badges.”
"We rely on our community relations staff not only to get the word out, but also to find out first hand the problems that individuals in those communities are facing,” Tom Davies, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer said.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.