Through the efforts of the American Red Cross, The Luzerne Foundation, FEMA, and the United Way, the following organizations have been brought together to form the first Luzerne County long term disaster recovery entity in recent history:
and others. A complete current list is below.
The Coalition began with a planning phase, creating a mission, developing structure, and scheduling training in order to launch its direct service activities in January 2012. Those activities began with collaborating with FEMA, developing appropriate criteria for classifying needs of disaster-impacted families, and placing hundreds of calls to affected homeowners.
The Coalition has secured funding from the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Luzerne Foundation, Lutheran Congregational Services, and the United Way of Wyoming Valley and the United Way of PA in conjunction with Shell Oil Company. Additional funding is always necessary to provide oversight and materials for construction associated with rehabilitation and recovery of flood survivors homes, deconstruction activities to ensure proper remediation of dwellings, and other costs tied to mitigation of mold and assurance of environmental safety. These materials and activities directly assist the Case Management component to ensure appropriate household and community recovery.
Three persons have been hired to complete the call downs and begin case management. All three case managers have been trained by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), as has the immediate supervisor for the program. The case managers are hired for a maximum of two years, working until needs have been met or resources are depleted. The program will provide for case management services to assist residents of Luzerne County with long-term disaster recovery. A Construction Committee and an Unmet Needs Committee have been formed. The case management duties coordinate with the respective committees to provide deconstruction, mitigation, and re-construction activities for individual households. Plus, given the stress that disasters can cause or exacerbate, case managers also watch for signs that social services or counseling may be useful.
The Coalition efforts tie together an existing, proven information & referral service, Help Line, with a new program, the Luzerne County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Case Management service, to provide a complete wrap-around of services available to people who experienced loss at the hands of the September 2011 flooding.