2009: Project Gowanda, NY
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 efforts.
Start / finish dates
Aug 19, 2009 -Sept 7, 2009
GPS coordinates (decimal)
N42° 28.1698′, W078° 56.4978′
Bill Driscoll Jr.
Additional Project Staff
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.
Coordinative services, helpline, needs intake. spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer reception coordination, interagency coordination
101 households directly assisted
148+ households indirectly assisted through our helpline and referrals
Total number of volunteers / volunteer hours
478 total number of volunteers coordinated
15,161 total number of volunteer hours
$316,338 estimated value of donated labor and services
Gowanda Volunteer Fire Department, Village of Gowanda mayors office, Cattraugus County emergency management, NYS VOAD and member organizations, 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.
List of Major Supporters
“The expertise that was provided by Hands On Disaster Response drastically accelerated the recovery efforts and we are grateful for their assistance.” – Christopher Baker, Director of Emergency Services, Cattaraugus County
“HODR turned chaos into order by showing up and providing coordinative services for the 20+ groups who arrived in Gowanda, NY after [the] floods.” – Ken Curtin, FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison