Disaster News Network: A coalition of disaster response volunteers in
Amelia Fletcher, head of Servant Ministry at
….Fletcher said she believed the survey would be the first of its kind in recent time to take the lessons learned by those who work on recovery efforts and centralize the information into an easily accessible database. Some organizations, such as the
Robey said information collected would be posted online to help disaster volunteers and survivors efficiently navigate the often confusing path to recovery. There will be tips on how to get through the governmental red tape of making a claim through the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as gentle advice on returning to a normal life after surviving a natural disaster. The Web site was in the planning stages, but Robey said he hoped to have it online before the end of the year. "We want to talk to educators and see how students are doing in school, and identify continuing problems. We'll talk to church leaders and find out the same sorts of things. And we'll talk to civic organizations and see how people in the community are feeling and how they're making recovery," he said.
Fletcher said the database will make the job of disaster organizations that meet often during hurricane season and as needed throughout the rest of the year much simpler. Centralizing the information will help survivors, relief workers and even governmental agencies understand the processes, she said. And, she added, everyone can "hit the ground running" whenever disaster strikes. Brenda Lee, president of the
"It is something that is absolutely needed," she said. "I'm very excited to see what they pull together. This is a mitigation tool that helps us be proactive when the next disaster strikes. That's something that VOAD especially needs." Volunteers will seek out educators, recovery workers and families to ask them about the recovery process, including what was done right and what was done wrong. The project was expected to begin in November after funding for the entire survey was in place. It was scheduled to be completed by April, with the Web site and other materials in place before the start of the 2008 hurricane season.