Workshops to help New York communities recover from last year's devastating storms

Nearly a year after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee struck the Northeast, the costs of cleaning up are estimated at more than $1.6 billion in New York State alone.

Nearly a year after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee struck the Northeast, the costs of cleaning up are estimated at more than $1.6 billion in New York State alone.

Yet it will take more than money to help many New York communities recover, according to Joann Hale, an Emergency Response Specialist with the global humanitarian agency Church World Service. Disaster-affected communities also need to access resources such as volunteer labor, expertise and material donations from local and national sources.

This is the message that Hale and other experts in disaster recovery will present in free, public workshops from Aug. 6 to 9 in Westchester, Warren and Otsego counties.

The workshops, titled "Long-Term Recovery Tools and Training," are intended for members of community organizations, faith-based groups and government agencies that are meeting the needs of people affected by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee or other disasters.

"Many people aren't aware of all the help that's available," Hale says. "This is a great opportunity to find out."

Each session will provide an overview of the processes by which communities recover from disasters. Topics will include organizing work crews, conducting case management with survivors and providing emotional and spiritual care. Presenters will also explain the services that national nonprofit groups can provide to disaster-affected communities.

Each workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with lunch provided. The schedule is as follows:

Aug. 6:
Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church
607 Millwood Rd. (Rt. 133)
Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

Aug. 8:
First Presbyterian Church
25 Church St.
Cooperstown, N.Y.

Aug. 9:
Bay Road Presbyterian Church
1167 Bay Road
Lake George, N.Y.

In addition to Hale, the presenters will be Catherine Earl, Executive Secretary for U.S. Disaster Response for the United Methodist Committee on Relief; Florence Coppola, Executive for National Disaster Ministries of the United Church of Christ; and Rev. Merritt N. Schatz and Doug Macdonald, both members of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team.

Participants are asked to register by Aug. 3 by contacting Geoff Phillips, FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison, at 404-823-0804 or Geoffrey.Phillips@fema.dhs.gov.

To arrange an interview with Joann Hale, please contact Tim Shenk, tshenk@churchworldservice.org or 212-870-2728.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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