Long term recovery: two different approaches, two similar names - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Long term recovery: two different approaches, two similar names

Madison (WKOW) -- From FEMA:  Long-Term Community Recovery (LTCR) and Long-Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) are two terms that will be used more and more by disaster officials, community leaders and individuals as Wisconsin recovers from the devastating storms and flooding that began in early June.

  Although their names are practically the same, their purposes and approaches are quite different.

  Recovering from any disaster takes time.

  Recovering from a disaster with the massive scope of the flooding, severe storms and tornadoes that hit the southern half of Wisconsin in June and July 2008 could take years.

  Disaster officials quickly recognized the extraordinary magnitude of the Wisconsin disaster and saw the need for long-term recovery plans.

  The long-term needs of individuals and those of entire communities are addressed through different processes.

  Long-Term Recovery Committees help individual disaster victims.

  The road to recovery isn't always smooth - ask anyone trying to come back from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding of June and July 2008. 

  When a network of nonprofit, voluntary and faith-based agencies steps in, the road is paved with help along the way.

  Working quietly in the background of the Wisconsin disaster declared by President Bush on June 14, these volunteers - coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) - take on and resolve some of the problems for people impacted by the disaster.

  Disaster recovery for every family moves in stages from emergency relief, to short-term recovery, and eventually to long-term recovery, which may take years. The help provided by voluntary agencies and generous donors is essential for filling in the gaps between needs and government assistance.

  The process for putting together community-based recovery committees has begun.

  Residents who suffered losses from the tornadoes, storms or flooding and continue to have unmet needs can seek help through several volunteer groups. 

  The groups now are being coordinated by a long-term recovery committee. 

  The focus of the long term recovery committees is to help families develop an effective recovery plan and to identify and access needed resources in the process.

  Affected residents needing assistance with their unmet needs can dial 2-1-1 to learn about resources available in their area.  "It's best to call from a hard-wired telephone or ‘land line' in your home," said Terri Leece, LTRC coordinator with the Salvation Army.  "The 2-1-1 system makes its referrals to services available in your calling area."

  Long Term Community Recovery focuses on whole communities.

  Shortly after the Wisconsin disaster was declared, disaster officials activated LTCR as part of the response and recovery effort.

  This set into motion activities and deployed personnel to look at the future needs of communities suffering extraordinary damages.

  LTCR creates a mechanism that assesses long-term needs of an impacted area; coordinates involved agencies and resources; and provides technical support through planning and subject matter expertise.

  One of LTCR's special concerns is identifying issues that are not covered by other recovery programs.

  Not just tasked with providing vision for a community's recovery, LTCR organizations also work to identify and secure public and private funding sources that a community can use to achieve its goals.

  An effective LTCR effort provides more efficient decision-making, helps avoid duplication of effort, and leverages funding sources.

  Long-term community recovery activities to date include a series of meetings and planning sessions with residents and leaders of communities such as Gays Mills and Rock Springs, where homes and businesses were among those hardest hit by the flooding.

  The long-term community recovery is also known as Emergency Support Function 14 (ESF-14) in the terminology of the National Response Framework. 

  Long-term Community Recovery is led by FEMA and supported by other federal agencies such as the U.S Small Business Administration and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture; Commerce; Housing and Urban Development; and Treasury. 

  Working through the state, LTCR brings together officials from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to identify and address a community's long-term disaster-related issues.

  Supporting long-term community recovery in Wisconsin is a team of environmental health specialists deployed by the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  "We are here to help protect, promote and advance the health and safety of local residents impacted by the Wisconsin disaster," said CAPT Terri Jenkins, USPHS Inactive Reserve Corps Officer.  "We're medical and environmental specialists who focus on public health issues, such as well contamination after flooding."

  Since late August the team has been assisting the state of Wisconsin with the identification and treatment of contaminated wells and drinking water. 

  To date they have visited 450 flood-damaged Wisconsin homes.

  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 terror.

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