When a disaster strikes, it can be devastating for residents, business owners and the very landscape of our community. Liberty’s Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA provides disaster preparedness and response in 19 counties of Eastern Pennsylvania. Our program works with congregations, government agencies and community organizations to help prepare for and respond to natural or human caused disasters. A new partnership between LDR-EPA and the Chester County Department of Emergency Services will provide training for additional disaster case managers to help disaster victims in our region get much needed assistance.
“Small events are very damaging for Pennsylvania, things such as ice storms and flooding,” says Julia Menzo, Liberty’s Disaster Response Coordinator. “Case management puts people in place to connect victims to resources in the community.”
Chester County officials realized a need for additional case management in the wake of Hurricane Irene in 2011, followed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and an ice storm in 2014. A number of homes and properties in Chester County sustained damage from the storms, but not to the extent to meet the threshold for federal aid.
“It takes more than a band aid to fix some of these in times of non-federally declared disasters. We saw a need to connect people to resources that went beyond an initial emergency response,” Julia said.
Chester County Department of Emergency Services is funding the case management training program. LDR-EPA is working with their Volunteer Management Coordinator Janet Zeis to get it off the ground.
“We are building community resiliency by creating this pilot program,” Janet said. “We hope it’s one other communities will look to adopt.”
The disaster response case management training program kicks off in late spring.
For more information, call 267-464-7700.