NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- The shock is over, but the work continues. As communities, neighborhoods and individuals absorb the repercussions of recent disasters and put forth a tremendous amount of effort to repair, rebuild and recover, the opportunity remains to harness that energy and not lose recovery momentum. This is the major reason the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) puts a high priority on developing long-term recovery groups comprised of volunteer organizations in hard-hit disaster communities.
To that end, FEMA announces that it will host a series of New England regional workshops entitled "Recovery Tools & Training." These one-day seminars are designed to give those involved with a Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) the resources to better address unmet needs and help rally support for those most affected by spring storms and flooding.
"Local faith-based organizations, social service groups and nonprofit entities who help families and individuals rebuild their home and lives – those who have ‘money, muscle and material' – are all invited to attend these sessions," said Lura Cayton, specialist with the Church World Service Emergency Response Program, one of the partner organizations taking part in the workshops.
Cayton continues: "Every disaster is unique, but the ways that communities can work together is the same the world over. What we're all striving for is to get to a ‘new normal,' especially for the most vulnerable people affected by a disaster. Everyone needs to know that there is a plan for moving through this."
Topics within the seminars include: information on how LTRG works as a team effort, resource development and volunteer management, as well as practical methods regarding how assistance can be delivered to as many people as possible. Community and church leaders, caseworkers and emergency management specialists can all gain insights into how to better serve their constituents along with preparation training for future events.
The workshops are scheduled as follows:
- June 8, 2010
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
15 Hayes St.
Providence, RI 02908
- June 9, 2010
First Lutheran Church
900 Main St.
Brockton, MA 02301
- June 10, 2010
Trinity Lutheran Church
170 Old Westford Rd.
Chelmsford, MA 01824
All seminars last from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend, and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is required by going to www.cwserp.org, and click on the date you wish to attend. For registration assistance in Rhode Island, call Cheryl Brekke at 540-359-9140, or in Massachusetts contact Beverly Hoffberg at 571-340-1632.
These workshops are supported in concert with a number of FEMA partner organizations including Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Rhode Island Emergency Management, FEMA/state Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), Church World Service, Council of Churches and other partners.
"We're especially pleased to be able to enlist the expertise of Church World Service (CWS)," said Arlene Magoon, Voluntary Agency Liaison with FEMA. "They are considered experts in this subject matter, and they're called on regularly to offer their knowledge and experience with long term recovery." Founded in 1946, CWS is a cooperative ministry of different denominations, all working toward sustainable social and economic development especially as it relates to disaster mitigation, preparedness and response.
"We all work on the principle of Cooperate, Coordinate, Collaborate and Communicate," said Magoon. "Hopefully, these seminars will help others to restore and build community relationships thr...