FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Some Kentuckians affected by the severe storms and flooding that struck May 3-20 will have unmet needs even after receiving help from government disaster aid programs or insurance.
"Federal Emergency Management Agency and commonwealth programs are only part of the recovery process. Some survivors have long-term needs that go beyond the scope of these programs," said Brig. Gen. John W. Heltzel, director Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. "Voluntary long-term recovery committees work at the local level to provide help."
The commonwealth and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) voluntary agency liaisons have stepped in to support the formation and organization of local long-term recovery committees (LTRCs).
"We give them the tools to develop a community-based committee and help them identify other resources for long-term recovery," said FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison Richard Bradley.
Most LTRCs include local churches, non-profits, voluntary agencies and concerned individuals. Within the committee, case managers play an important role. They work closely with individuals and families helping them with resources to meet needs that may include transportation, family counseling, housing and rental aid, food, construction and repair, debris removal, household goods, and financial support.
Currently, LTRCs are developing in several counties hard hit by the May storms and floods. There are active committees in Owsley and Breathitt counties. Pike County is making speedy progress in forming its committee. In Floyd County, the Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) will be stepping in to lend a hand in assisting the county to get its committee up and running. All the LTRCs need funding and more volunteers.
"Recovering from natural disasters is the work of many hands, many agencies, government and private, and many dedicated individuals," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Kim Kadesch. "No single agency or group can do it all."
For more information regarding long-term recovery, contact the Commonwealth Voluntary Agency Liaison and President of the Kentucky VOAD, Jim Garrett at 502-330-0577 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.