CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- When the Memorial Day storms struck West Virginia, Mingo County sustained more damage than any other area. The storm came on top of three disaster declarations within a 15-month period that affected Mingo County.
Many of the families again suffered damages from the rains, floods and landslides. They are examples of the individuals and families Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs) seek out. The LTRCs may be able to help with needs not covered by insurance or by federal and state disaster assistance programs.
Formed with the support from the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services; local community-based and faith-based agencies; and the West Virginia Council of Churches; LTRCs operate out of four regions, covering the entire state-Northern, West-Central, Eastern and Mingo County. A case manager is handling Mingo County exclusively. Three other case managers divide up the three remaining regions.
Residents of Mingo County submitted more than three thousand applications for help. Running second, Logan had well over 1,200 and Wyoming close to 1000. Outreach workers from Project Recovery, under a grant from FEMA, work closely with the LTRC's, going out in teams to knock on doors, visit churches and community centers, and place flyers in strategic places in the county. They provide support and referral services, and let residents know the LTRCs will help them develop a comprehensive recovery plan that includes small items often overlooked when a family is under stress.
Until a local office for the LTRC is set up, Mingo County residents may call 1-877-330-9105 for help or further information. Phone lines are in operation from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is voice mail to receive after-hour messages.
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.