Long-term recovery groups coordinate resources in communities

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 10:51am

Help. Relieve. Aid.  Those are three words that long-term recovery groups (LTRG) live and work by.  A long-term recovery group is a cooperative body made up of representatives from faith-based, non-profit, government, business and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families as they recover from disasters. Many LTRG participants are also members of North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NC VOAD).

There are currently long-term recovery groups active in 24 North Carolina counties. Since Hurricane Florence struck, new long-term recovery groups are forming in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Jones, New Hanover, Stanly, and Richmond, Union, and Wilson counties. Groups in other counties that were active after Hurricane Matthew are continuing their work and helping victims of Hurricane Florence.  

When disaster hits, long-term recovery groups mobilize community resources help people who have been affected.  Disaster survivors need help understanding the maze of volunteer organizations doing disaster relief work, and those organizations must work together effectively for a good outcome in each community.  Long-term recovery groups meet on a regular basis in local communities and provide a forum where the VOAD principles of cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration can happen.  

So far, more than 20,579 volunteers have dedicated over 253,387 hours from their weekends to helping those who were hit by Hurricane Florence by removing drywall, mucking out houses, clearing downed trees and tarping roofs and giving out food and water.

Every good long-term recovery includes seven categories to help, aid and relieve those who are in need: 
•    Volunteer Management
•    Communications 
•    Donations Management
•    Construction Management
•    Disaster Case Management 
•    Emotional and Spiritual Care
•    Financial Controls and Reporting. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is one of thirty-three members of the NC VOAD who are included in the “volunteer management” category. All of the volunteers within the NC VOAD are a key component to disaster response and should be managed and treated as a valuable resource throughout each and every phase of disaster recovery. 

All of the volunteers within the LTRGs work regular jobs during the week, and spend their entire weekends giving back to those who have been hit by disasters.  “It just feels good to be part of the solution,” Jere Snyder, the NC VOAD representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said. “Everyone who is a part of the organization are just good people with good hearts.” 

Volunteers are always wanted and needed. Webpages are set up at www.ncvoad.org/cms/florenceopportunities and www.justserve.org/Florence for people to volunteer with Hurricane Florence cleanup efforts. 

Tierra Bethel