|Red Crosser Katherine Galifinakis (l) and I presenting at the Shelter Transition Workshop
on Thursday, the final day of the Conference.
|Al Vliet from FEMA (standing) was one of the instructors for the Shelter Field Guide Training.
|My good friend from the Salvation Army Kevin Smith (seated, near right) listens
with me to noted hurricane forecaster Phil Klotzbach.
This is where the voluntary agencies can help these communities by documenting the donated resources and volunteer hours that they contribute to the response and recovery. In some disasters this contribution can mean a lot of money to the beleaguered local jurisdictions. But like everything else with the federal government when it comes to money this means documentation, documentation and more documentation. The discussion in the Rap Session was centered around how the voluntary agencies could meet this documentation requirement. An example of a form developed in Colorado to document volunteer hours is shown below.
FEMA, who must accept and validate whatever the voluntary agencies provide, does not want to be prescriptive about how the documentation is submitted. This is understandable but leaves the voluntary agencies guessing as to how they are going to meet this requirement. Everyone needs to come up with a process that FEMA will accept, but no one wants to take the time and effort during a disaster to gather detailed information that will be denied by some FEMA Reservist in a Joint Field Office 9 months later.
Thursday, the final day of the National Hurricane Conference, offered multiple mass care workshops. My favorite, of course, was the one that I offered as a topic last December and was accepted: Shelter Transition. Shelter transition is the multi-agency process by which survivors in a congregate shelter are moved to some sort of appropriate housing.
Shelter transition is an important and vital part of concluding a mass care response and yet there is no written guidance or instructions to aid the local emergency manager in performing this task. To help fill this void the Red Cross and FEMA are creating a multiagency working group to address this issue. I will be one of the Project Leaders for this effort. I will have more to say about this project at a future date.
This year's National Hurricane Conference was a success from my point of view. I learned a lot, cemented some mass care relationships and made some new ones. My farewell to everyone as I left the last Thursday session was one that I have made many times before:
"I hope that I don't see you this summer!"