Charles Z. Burchett - Chairman
Karen Smith – Secretary and Newton County At-Large
Madge Jones – Treasurer, Donations Team Lead, and Jasper County
Connie Hughes-Unmet Needs Team Leader
Rodney Norsworthy - Construction Team Leader and Jasper County
Cathy Pearson - Volunteer Team Leader and Newton County
Danny Lewis - Spiritual Soul Care Team Leader and Jasper County
Enrique Perez - Jasper County At-Large
Billie Jordan-Executive Director/Case Management
Sue Downing-Executive Director Grants
Case Management is a time-limited process by which a skilled helper (Case Manager) partners with a disaster-affected individual or family (Client) in order to plan for and achieve realistic goals for recovery following a disaster. This comprehensive and holistic Case Management approach to recovery extends beyond providing relief, providing a service, or meeting urgent needs. The Case Manager serves as a primary point of contact, assisting the Client in coordinating necessary services and resources to address the client’s complex disaster recovery needs in order to re-establish normalcy. Case Managers rely on the Client to play an active or lead role in his/her own recovery. The case management process involves:
Screening and Intake for Case Management Services
Assessment of Disaster Recovery Needs
Action and Advocacy
Monitoring Recovery Progress
Providing information and referral (I & R) is an activity performed throughout this process. Case Managers (CMgrs) directly provide, refer, or otherwise arrange for individuals and families to receive needed services and resources identified in the recovery plan through the following actions:
verifying unmet recovery needs by obtaining records and/or contacting vendors;
networking with other organizations to guide client through sequence of delivery without duplication of benefits or services;
advocating with and for clients by activities including but not limited to:
preparing for and making case presentations on behalf of client;
actively participating in long term recovery groups where such exist; and
providing support and advocacy with governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations when necessary.
Case Management personnel are qualified as determined by the Organization by life experience, skills, education, and training to access and coordinate services for the populations served. Case Managers may be Employees or Volunteers. Case Managers demonstrate helpful inter-personal skills and ethical conduct. Case Managers adhere to the following underlying values for service:
caring and compassion for all people is the foundation for all we do;
work is accomplished in a respectful, non-judgmental, and non-discriminatory manner;
trust, mutual respect, and equal partnerships of survivors and community service providers are essential elements of our work;
all people have inherent dignity, worth and autonomy;
human relationships are essential to hope and healing;
integrity is an essential component of our work and service in helping survivors navigate through the sequence of disaster assistance.
Case Managers have specialized knowledge and skills regarding:
disaster recovery resources;
advocacy and case presentation;
assessment of survivors and disaster recovery planning;
potential impact of the disaster on the Client’s over-all well-being and ability to cope; and
recovery needs of vulnerable populations following disasters.
Case Managers and Organizations respect the client’s right to privacy, protect client’s confidential information, and maintain appropriate confidentiality when information about the client is released to others.
Construction Management in Long Term Recovery consists of overseeing repairing or rebuilding of client homes to safe, sanitary, secure and functional condition. This may include repairing an existing home, rebuilding a destroyed home or relocating a home for clients that have been through the proper case management and are eligible for assistance. Construction management ensures that construction is effective, efficient, timely, and that quality workmanship meets code requirements.
Consider the following keeping in mind that each state or local community may have additional laws and regulations that exceed the International Residential Code (IRC) for each of the following:
Local zoning restrictions
Building codes - all new and repair construction must meet local codes
Repair, remove, and/or disposal of hazardous material, i.e. lead, asbestos, mold, etc.
Mitigation - houses should be better prepared to withstand a future disaster
Floodplain levels - house must be elevated above the local floodplain levels
Cost - Houses must be safe, sanitary, secure, and functional, but also should be cost-effective
Volunteer labor vs. Contractors – who will do the construction
Special client needs
Construction management begins completing an estimate of repair for Case Management and continues as the case is fully processed, approved, and funded by the Unmet Needs and Executive Committees. Construction assessment and estimation information helps develop a recovery plan and should include details of the entire repair process, an outline of volunteer and contract labor needs, and a list of materials needed to complete the project. The estimate used for funding the project should include sales tax and a 10-15% overage for incidentals and unanticipated needs.
A method of limiting risks and liabilities while ensuring a safe working environment for the volunteers is essential for risk management and should include an appropriate Release of Liability form for each volunteer, a Release of Liability form each homeowner prior to starting work on the client’s property, and a repair agreement, often called a Statement of Understanding signed by every homeowner. The Statement of Understanding should include client contact information, project location, client responsibilities, scope of work, and signature of satisfaction. This document sometimes includes the Client’s Release of Liability, as well.
Thorough tracking and record keeping is necessary for good management of construction projects. Project tracking and record keeping should include but is not limited to:
Project Status - (R) Ready, (IP) In progress, (H) Hold, (C) Complete, (CL) Closed
Volunteers Hours - Volunteer hours are very important to log and submit to local emergency management. The value of volunteer labor may be used to offset the State cost share after a federally declared disaster. Volunteer hours, seen as in-kind donation, can also be effective when applying for some grants.
Financial tracking and record keeping - track construction expenses on all jobs separately to avoid overspending on any funded project.
Contract Labor - when using contract labor it is recommended to keep records/copies of at least the following:
Starting and completion dates
Any permit they have pulled
Permits and Inspections - It is recommended, when using volunteer labor, that the homeowner pulls their own permits, making the homeowner the contractor. All permits and inspections should be copied and recorded.
Volunteers are inherently valuable and, when properly coordinated, make up an essential part of the human resources needed to respond to disasters of all magnitudes. In times of disaster, people are drawn to help their neighbors physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Volunteers’ skills are best utilized and are most effective when they volunteer as part of an established organization trained in disaster response activities. Some volunteers are Affiliated, attached to a recognized voluntary or nonprofit organization and are trained for specific disaster response activities. Their relationship with the organization precedes the immediate disaster, and they are invited by that organization to become involved in a particular aspect of emergency management. Some are Unaffiliated, offering to help or self-deploy to assist without fully coordinating their activities. Convergent volunteers include individuals that may have a distinguishable identity, organizational structure and a collective desire to assist. These groups do not have an affiliation.
Since volunteers come with many different skills, it is important for the Volunteers Committee to place volunteers in roles to fit their abilities. Those skills and abilities may include but are not limited to, debris removal, cleaning out homes, repairing/rebuilding homes, case management, program leadership, office skills as well as professional services such as legal advice, accounting, and computer expertise.
In addition to enlisting, registering, and coordinating volunteers, the Volunteer Committee is responsible for hosting volunteers from outside our two counties, which can include arranging for the following accommodations:
showers and personal hygiene needs
Working closely with the volunteers, disaster survivors, and agencies/donors, the task of the Volunteers Committee is to utilize volunteer help where it will address the greatest need. This will require close collaboration between the Volunteers Committee, Case Management Committee, and Construction Committee.
The Volunteer Committee will oversee a number of functions, which may include: communicating with volunteers, accommodations, orientations, debriefings, recognition, and evaluations.
Locates the vulnerable and most needy
• Identifies resources available for recovery
• Provides data to support a recovery budget
• Prioritizes the unmet needs
Our LTRG partners with funding agencies and meets monthly to assess which homes will be prioritized and funded.
Assessing and providing for the spiritual and soul (mind, will, emotions) needs of individuals, families and communities can kindle important capacities of hope and resilience. While a disaster may have initially evoked feelings of rage, dismay, and shock, the transition to long-term recovery may involve feelings of exhaustion, confusion, and despair.
Hope is the central capacity that contributes toward personal and communal resiliency. It enables individuals, families and communities to endure great hardship with courage. The maintenance of hope during times of struggle is a central priority of spiritual care providers. The loss of hope is despair.
Despair is one of the most crippling human spiritual conditions. It can adversely affect many other areas of physical, mental and spiritual health. Despair can begin to take root when tasks seem insurmountable and conditions seem unsolvable. Therefore, some of the most powerful interventions that can be performed by spiritual care providers are interventions that specifically stimulate a sense and experience of hope in individuals and communities.
A spiritual soul care provider can facilitate a guided conversation around specific themes with an individual or a family, encouraging people to verbalize tangible examples of successes during other periods of difficulty in several areas, including:
Personal life history
Family-the broader history of parents, grandparents, and ancestors
Cultural-national, ethnic, and cultural experiences
Spiritual-the history of one’s faith group or spiritual perspective
These arenas represent concentric circles of existence and meaning in life. When one brings to mind examples of success in the face of adversity, a renewed and bolstered sense of hope emerges that can sustain an individual, family, and community throughout the current crisis.
Anniversaries of disasters require special concern for emotional and spiritual care providers. Even long after the initially strong feelings of fear, anger and pain have passed, an anniversary of the event can trigger these feelings again. Community memorial services can be helpful in giving voice to and space for some of the strong feelings prompted by an anniversary.
Understanding donations management is another key component to every community’s recovery effort. Responders who understand their community’s needs communicate the importance of cash donations in helping to meet those needs. Responders who know how to effectively manage donated goods are more efficient at leading their community toward recovery. Effective communicators and collaborators are more successful in fulfilling needs because they invest in relationships with other responders (including local and state government) as well as the media. Offers of donations will be at their peak immediately after a disaster and can overwhelm a recovery effort.
Some of the questions that the LTRG need to ask when dealing with donations are:
How to handle cash donations?
How to handle donated goods?
What donations are needed and how will they be used?
Where will donated goods be stored?
How will record keeping of the donations be managed?
How will distribution of donations be overseen?
What equipment will be needed to receive goods?
Will donations be shared with other partners?
What will be done with surplus or unneeded donations?
It is difficult to anticipate every need in a recovery program ahead of time. There are several phases of a disaster and each of these phases will require different donations to match the needs that arise for that period. Examples of donations that could be needed during the recovery phase would include:
Personal protection equipment
Furniture and beds
Professional construction related services (e.g. architects, structural engineers, electricians, HVAC specialists, etc.)
Donated warehouse space may be located through regional or state VOAD offices. When selecting a warehouse there are several issues to keep in mind:
Size and configuration
Operating costs including rent, insurance, and utilities
Having easy truck access to the building is important, but it is equally important that you committee have after-hour access to the building as well. Also keep in mind how many loading docks you will need., and what equipment and operators will be needed (forklift, shelving, box truck, pallet jacks, etc.) to receive and distribute donation goods. It is important to keep complete, confidential records of all clients served and goods distributed.
Visibly and graphically documenting all reception and distribution of donations is essential for maintaining good present and future relationships with donors. This can be done with cameras and written or computer records to facilitate the following:
Keeping track of inventory
Receipts for all donations
Sending thank you notes
Only accepting appropriate donations
Asking local media to appeal to the community for items needed