We Need YOU: Volunteer to Rebuild and Clean Up Post-Hurricane Sandy
World Cares Center (WCC) trains and coordinates volunteers and volunteer groups in response to Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey and have launched online trainings on disaster volunteerism and management on our website (www.worldcares.org). WCC has extensive experience assisting with these relief efforts. When asked about WCC’s role in responding to New Jersey’s relief effort after Hurricane Irene, Lisa Orloff, Founder and Executive Director of WCC said, “World Cares Center played a significant role in the Hurricane relief effort in New Jersey. We trained local groups with “just in time” training right after the hurricane hit, but we also coordinated citizens, local groups and national groups as well. We helped response teams work together more fluidly.” WCC has posted unique training briefings on its website (www.worldcares.org) for volunteers and emergency response teams to view for a quick, effective education on the ins and outs of productive relief efforts. Topics covered include: assessing readiness amongst organizations seeking to help, proven-effective resources like tools and templates for emergency managers to use, and guidance on how to coordinate with the greater system of emergency relief by networking with other groups to connect to needed resources.
Time and time again, we have learned of the critical value of volunteers in moving relief efforts forward to a positive resolution, especially when working with local community leaders who know the ins and outs of their communities’ constituents. In a joint survey with Harvard’s School of Public Health, we found that 80% of Emergency Managers surveyed said they needed citizen volunteers. They just don’t have enough staff and often need your help. We also know from Post-Katrina relief efforts, that the participation of volunteers was instrumental in helping provide needed services. In some cases, non-government and faith-based organizations made life-and-death differences in people’s lives. These groups are already in the community, they know their community needs, and who might need the most service quickly within that community.
There are so many different types of emergency response groups including faith-based, federal entities like the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), community groups, national nonprofit groups, businesses, and networking groups like Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Where might you fit in? Here are 10 areas where volunteers can be most effective:
- Food services
- Call Centers
- Delivery of Food to Homebound Seniors
- Clean Up and Muck Out of Homes
- Damage Assessments
- Physical reconstruction services
Where does your expertise lie? There will be immediate, mid-term, and long-term recovery needs from Hurricane Sandy as we continue to uncover and address the devastation from this storm. We urge you to get involved. Visit our website at www.worldcares.org and click on the “Get Involved” tab to fill out a disaster response volunteer application. We will work to find the best fit for your specific skills, making sure that your volunteer efforts go to those in need as we recover and rebuild from the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
On Saturday June 9th, World Cares Center participated in a resource fair at Smokey Oval Park in Richmond Hill Queens. Although it started to drizzle, it did not deter the participants from stopping by our booth to pick up informative brochures on Hurricane Preparedness. We also gave children our wrist bands and youth guides on emergency readiness. One lucky winner left the resource fair with an emergency kit for their car. Speaking of Hurricane preparedness; according to the national weather service, www.erh.noaa.gov, there are currently no weather hazards to report. It’s been a pretty wet Spring, but NYC is currently safe from any visits from Hurricanes or tropical storms. Hopefully June 20th, which celebrates the first day of summer, will bring us beautiful weather. I don’t mind the rainy weather during the work week, but when the weekend comes, rain, rain go away…
Thankfully there are no hazardous weather reports, but don’t wait for something to happen to see if you are prepared. It is Hurricane season after all. With the upcoming one year anniversary of Hurricane turned tropical storm Irene. Now is the time to check your basement; with all the recent rain to find accumulated puddles or extreme moisture and take care of those issues. We are READY! Are you? Create a Go Bag, teach your children about evacuation procedures and make sure they have an ICE card and there are at least three ICE contacts on their cell phones.
To learn more visit our webpage at www.worldcares.org.
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New Jersey Recovery
On Wednesday, May 23rd, Marina Diaz, World Cares Center Programs Manager, met with members of the Wayne VOAD committee; our focus in the meeting was getting the word out to individual citizens in Wayne County and their neighbors about the Hurricane Relief efforts being handled by the committee and other partnering agencies. Topics discussed were:
- Effectively reaching out to the homeowners with unmet needs;
- Alerting the homeowners about the various free resources being offered to homeowners who were affected by the flood;
- Provide answers to questions such as: Who can help me with the mold situation that is still ongoing in my home caused by the flood waters of Hurricane Irene? Where can I get rebuilding assistance?
The committee is also reaching out to World Cares Center to train local citizens on Volunteer Safety, Muckout and Mold Mitigation. The ability to have a coordinated volunteer group within your community increases the recovery time and reinforces the connectivity of neighbor helping neighbor. Let’s take action and move towards a resilient community. Get Trained, Get Involved.
Contact Marina Diaz, Programs Manager – email@example.com or 212-563-7570.
A World Cares Center Thank you…
As World Cares Center continues with the Hurricane Irene long-term recovery, we’d like to take a moment to recognize the amazing efforts of all those we’ve worked with and those we continue to work with to achieve our shared goal of recovery. Disaster response is a collaborative effort. We are a collection of parts contributing to the same mission and our best achievements come when we work closely together. Throughout our ten years of operations, World Cares Center has been fortunate to work side by side with some of the most dedicated individuals and groups imaginable, and we are proud to begin our 11th year with a network of inspiring colleagues. Thank you for everything you do and we hope to continue these relationships well into the future in service of those who need it most.
Visit www.worldcares.org to find our more about programs.
New Jersey Recovery
Most of us find that Hurricane Irene happened a long time ago, but the truth is that there are still homeowners who are recovering from the effects of the August storm. As you know, World Cares Center (WCC) has taken on a major role in the relief efforts in New Jersey. Between coordinating more than 1,100 homeowners in need and 25 partner nonprofits and faith-based organizations, WCC currently goes into the field, making direct contact with the residents in need and assessing their home situations. Recently, our Leading & Managing program manager went together with a member of Burlington CERT to assess four homes in Northern New Jersey. After a thorough evaluation, the report on the assessment will be presented in the next Long Term Recovery meeting. Based on needs, available resources, and manpower, the homeowners will be receiving appropriate assistance.
Each one of the 1,122 homeowners who called into WCC, have their own story of woe and perseverance. Cases range from elderly single women to families, to teens with recent surgery, and they all need our help to clean up their homes. In working with our wonderful partners, WCC helped to successfully respond to more than half of the initial requests. Some of their homes presented straightforward recovery solutions and their needs received prompt assistance. Other cases were more complicated and evolved over months of continued coordination and follow through. As we move forward with the rebuilding phase, we are looking ahead to a two-year recovery for the residents of New Jersey.
If you want to get involved and be part of this important work, please visit our website at www.worldcares.org and volunteer with us. Stay tuned for more stories to come!
Continuing Relief for New Jersey
Six months ago, Hurricane Irene struck New Jersey, resulting in extensive flooding and widespread damage. All 21 counties of New Jersey were declared disaster areas as World Cares Center (WCC) joined the immediate response to immediate needs. Following this primary stage, remains active on the ground and is a member of 5 Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRC) in New Jersey. The collaborative, cooperative, and coordinated efforts among all agencies and volunteers involved within the long term recovery of New Jersey are vital to the success of these committees.
The focus of a LTRC is to create community resilience to concentrate on those citizens who are still suffering from the wrath of Hurricane Irene. The LTRCs discuss crucial, pressing issues- emotional and spiritual support, cleanup and rebuilding needs- and with the help of local faith-based and community leaders, residents of New Jersey are being made aware that the LTRC members are reaching out to find and help them.
If you are interested in volunteering to help us with rebuilding, case management, construction, and general labor, as well as administrative and supervisory needs, log onto worldcares.org and click the “involved” button to be a part of these relief efforts.
Think Hope & Relief this Holiday Season
2011 has been a very busy year for World Cares Center as we’ve responded to emergencies both at home and abroad. In addition to our continuing work in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, WCC responded to the Japanese tsunami that struck in March 2011. The Kids4Kids campaign connected US and Japanese students in a donation drive focused on helping Japanese families cope with the trauma of the year’s events. Back home, along with our safety and preparedness trainings, WCC took on a major coordinative role in the Hurricane Irene relief effort in New Jersey and we are eager to continue to serve the residents that need it most during the state’s long-term recovery.
As with any nonprofit organization, we cannot carry out our initiatives without the help of the businesses, groups, and individuals that so generously support us. During this holiday season, we ask you to consider donating to World Cares Center and our programs that directly benefit our neighbors on the grassroots level. Especially with the needs we are addressing with Hurricane Irene, your support will have a real and immediate impact on people who have lost their homes or are still unable to return to mold-infested houses. These needs are not stories passed along from far-away lands; they are present in our own backyard and are realities for people we see on a regular basis. The desire to help that we have already witnessed in individuals volunteering their time and services has left us hopeful that we will be able to continue our important work in the Tri-State area and beyond.
Thank you once again for all your help. World Cares Center wishes you a safe and restful holiday season as we all come together to create strong, resilient communities ready to face any future emergency.