June 13th, 2007 08:39 EST
Volunteer Agencies Play An Important Part In Unmet Needs
EAGLE PASS, Texas -- When the severe storms and tornadoes of April 21 to 24 ravaged Texas counties, volunteer agencies were quickly on the scene. Often the first to arrive and the last to leave, the overall contribution of these volunteer agencies to recovery is immeasurable for the short and long-term.
To meet the long-term needs of those affected by this disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assigned a liaison to work with local, state and national voluntary organizations who form local disaster recovery committees. These committees and the FEMA liaison coordinate with volunteer agencies to identify unmet needs in affected communities and develop a plan for long-term recovery needs.
“Federal and state assistance programs offer a helping hand or a starting place to rebuild lives,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Tony Russell. “But these recovery committees are invaluable in addressing the long-term needs of storm victims.”
In Eagle Pass, the Rosita Valley Unmet Needs Committee and the Eagle Pass Interfaith Long Term Recovery Committee elected officers and adopted by-laws. They will coordinate their efforts and give assignments to case managers, who will work with those who have unmet needs and attempt to match them with volunteer help. The committees also work together to prevent any duplication of benefits.
Rosita Valley Disaster Relief Committee officers include president, Alberto Menchaca (Texas A&M Colonia Program); vice president, Jesus Antu (Middle Rio Grande Development Council); secretary, Chris T. Garcia-Torres (Middle Rio Grande Development Council/Workforce Center); and treasurer, Saul Fernandez (Maverick County Development Council/Chamber of Commerce).
Eagle Pass’ Interfaith Long Term Recovery Committee is led by president, Pastor Felipe Garcia (Iglesia Bautista); vice president, Pastor Felix Castille (Primera Bautista Iglesia); secretary, Amy Garcia (Salvation Army); and treasurer, Pastor Harlene Sadler (First United Methodist Church).
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.