LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Some Izard County residents affected by the Feb. 5 tornado will have unmet needs even after receiving help from government disaster aid programs or insurance.
For those, assistance may come from a committee of churches, non-profit and voluntary agencies who will work together to find resources to meet long-term recovery needs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps bring together the local churches and voluntary agencies to assist applicants with unmet needs.
"We give them the tools to develop a community-based committee and help them identify other resources for long-term recovery," said Mary Richards, Voluntary Agency Liaison for FEMA.
Richards has worked with local residents to form a Long-Term Recovery Committee to aid the citizens of Izard County.
The goal of the committee is to lead an organized, efficient and effective response effort in the aftermath of the disaster. The committee also hopes to address preparedness, unmet recovery and mitigation needs of individuals and families in Izard County.
"The committee will work through the ministerial alliance, and will help people on a case-by-case basis with money, volunteer labor and donated goods," said Brent Ballow, chairman of the Izard County Long-Term Recovery Committee.
Services offered range from financial assistance, clean up, minor and major home repair to spiritual counseling. Persons who still have unmet needs after exhausting all programs with FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the state should call the Izard County helpline at (870)-670-4173.
Ballow represents the Barren Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Other members of the committee include Gene Baird of the Midway Baptist Church, Ricky Burke of the Melbourrne First Baptist Church, Terry Sager of the Melbourne United Methodist Church, Justin Clark of the Melbourne Community Church as well as representatives from St. Mary?s Catholic Church and the American Red Cross.
Ballow noted that the committee is identifying information about needs in the community and information on available funding.
"We can?t help people if we don?t know what their needs are. We are just here to help the people," Ballow said.
Anyone wishing to contribute to this effort or become a volunteer can call (870) 670-4173.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and emergency management agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies.
FEMA coordinates the federal government?s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terrorism.