LAREDO, Texas -- The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) want people affected by Hurricane Alex and subsequent flooding to be aware of the range of resources available to help them recover.
In addition to government disaster aid programs, people affected may also seek assistance from one of four Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs) established along the South Texas border. The LTRCs are made up of local nonprofit volunteer organizations, churches, faith-based and civic organizations, and state and local agencies dedicated to addressing unmet needs of survivors.
“To help aid in the situation, LTRCs have been established to find the survivors who have become lost among the overlapping systems delivering assistance," said State Coordinating Officer Ben Patterson. "These committees will determine what the serious, unmet needs are and develop a way to deliver that assistance without duplicating what all other agencies can provide or have provided."
The LTRCs, by working together with TDEM and FEMA, know they are not duplicating each other's efforts and that they are dealing with the disaster victims who still have unmet needs. As an example of the benefits of coordination, people who have registered with FEMA and qualified for assistance may be able to use a cash grant they have received to buy raw materials. Organizations within an LTRC area may in turn be able to supply the labor to make repairs. This collaboration enables the LTRCs to leverage their dollars increasing the assistance that can be provided.
One of the key elements in an LTRC's mission is to acknowledge survivors' needs.
The Long-Term Recovery Committee:
- Has as its mission to strengthen area-wide disaster coordination by sharing information, simplifying client access and jointly resolving cases with unmet needs;
- Helps affected families to develop a plan and receive adequate assistance for their recovery;
- Is composed of representatives from disaster response agencies; and
- Exists with all participating organizations as equal partners.
Services offered range from financial assistance, clean up, minor and major home repair to crisis and spiritual counseling.
"We operated similar committees with great success in 2008 as a result of Hurricane Dolly," explained Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris.
If members of the community are interested in contacting an LTRC for assistance, or if individuals or organizations are interested in getting involved to help survivors recover, contact the LTRC listed below that is nearest you for more information.
- Greater Laredo Disaster Relief Committee, serving Webb, Zapata and Jim Hogg counties 956-754-7489 (subject to change in 10 days)
- Del Rio Long-Term Recovery Committee, serving Val Verde County 830-775-1541
- Eagle Pass Long-Term Recovery Committee, serving Maverick County 830-773-3208
- Lower Rio Grande Valley Long-Term Recovery Committee, serving Starr, Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties 1-866-775-2007
For more information on the Hurricane Alex disaster recovery, browse the features on this FEMA Web site at www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/2010/alex/index.shtm. Users of smart phones and other mobile devices can visit m.fema.gov. Texans should also visit www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem for more information on this disaster and preparation for future disasters.
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