Gowanda Flood Coordination

On Sunday August 9, 2009, flash flooding damaged more than 400 homes in Gowanda, NY, and severely affected the surrounding counties. To relieve the burden on local officials and support the on-going recovery efforts in place, All Hands Volunteers lent their expertise in volunteer coordination and project management to the flood recovery.

What: Project Gowanda

Where: Gowanda, New York, USA

When: August 19 – September 7, 2009

Why: Flash Flooding, August 9, 2009

How: All Hands established the Tri-County Recovery Coordinator Center (TCRCC), an operations center at the New Gowanda Fire Hall, after receiving the designation from Cattaraugus County Emergency Management and the Village of Gowanda to be the official coordinating agency for volunteers and voluntary organizations active in the effort. The TCRCC served as a flood recovery hub for residents, volunteers and assisting organizations.

The TCRCC hosted inter-agency coordination meetings that brought organizations together to more efficiently meet the community’s needs– referring flood-affected residents to recovery resources and launching a referral helpline. The inter-agency coordinative services, offered by the TCRCC, ensured the volunteer effort remained organized and efficient. All Hands Volunteers also set up a volunteer and workflow database; set up a tool bank, and trained local groups in facilitation of work requests. On September 2, 2009, All Hands’ coordinative services staff helped secure the FEMA individual assistance (IA) declaration– which provides SBA loans and FEMA grant money. The culmination of All Hands’ Project Gowanda was a successful transition– handing off the coordination response to representatives from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Church World Services (CWS), Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC). The TCRCC was transferred to the Gowanda chapter of Love INC, an affiliate organization of World Vision as well as the LTRC.

Project Director: Bill Driscoll, Jr.

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