The June 22nd flooding in West Virginia is being called a 1,000 year flood. Recovery from the devastation is expected to take more than five years.
Catholic Charities West Virginia’s (CCWVa) Disaster Recovery Services focus on long-term recovery for individuals and communities, which typically starts 4-5 months after a disaster and can last for years. To prepare for this phase, CCWVa staff have been participating in WV-VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) planning meetings, attending county Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) meetings, developing partnerships with local and state organizations, and coordinating resources to parishes and groups helping out.
As relief slowly transitions into recovery, CCWVa has started basic disaster case work, in some of the most impacted areas. This case work aims to provide those affected by the floods with information about the FEMA process (Families impacted should call 800-462-7585 before the registration deadline of August 24th), conduct short-term planning, link individuals to partner organizations who are working to meet immediate needs, and gather information on homes that will be shared with the LTRCs.
The agency has received over $600,000 for the 2016 flood recovery effort. More than half of the funds came from the generous parishioners of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston through second collections at liturgies on July 2nd and 3rd. In the coming weeks and months, we will provide updates to how the money is being utilized.
“We are inspired by the generosity, compassion, and love for all of our neighbors witnessed this past month,” said Patricia Phillips, Director of Development and Marketing for CCWVa. “All of the collected funds will go to disaster recovery,” Phillips added.
Mark Sliter, Executive Director for CCWVa said, “Federal assistance and donated goods, although significant, will quickly be depleted. In our experience, we anticipate extensive long-term needs. These funds will help CCWVa – along with our partners – to alleviate some of those critical needs.” Sliter added, “We are committed to serving those affected by this tragedy for the long-term and ensuring people affected by the disaster return to a safe, secure, and stable living situation.”