Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Different Directions -- But all forward

One of those days where every time you turn around you are heading in a different direction but all of them are forward!

One of the sure things in disaster response is change -- sometimes on a daily basis. Flexibility is one of the key words!

This morning was filled with preparation for an article for the upcoming website for the Bartholomew County Long Term Recovery Team. Since I am supervisor for case management I had to prepare something for there and for the weekly update that will appear in the local newspaper each Monday. Might sound easy for someone like me who never seems to be at a loss for words but sometimes . . . I did get them both done and both responses were a thumbs up so they must be okay.

From there it's checking in with the angels of case management, answering questions that have come up and making sure all is going forward. They really are angels as they take everything in stride and are always smiling and laughing together. There is a nasty rumor going around that everyone who is employed by the hospital and NOT a paid case manager for them might be called back to work as early as this coming Monday! No one was able to verify anything and I hope it is just that -- a rumor! I know the hospital will need them as some point in time and I do want the hospital to reopen as soon as possible --- guess I can't have both worlds, can I?

We also learned from our local State Representative that we finally have a much needed meeting scheduled for next week with a local trailer park management and the residents living there. We have needed a "sit down" with the both of them to hopefully get to the actual truth on alot of things. Thanks to this State Rep for taking such an active roll in the disaster response!

Today was also a huge step forward in the procurement of our construction supervisor. John officially joined the team and is preparing some of his much needed paperwork as I write. He will be in charge of estimates for homes, whether they need that estimate to obtain a building permit or to purchase materials for the rebuilding of their home. The case managers have been anxiously awaiting this placement and will have plenty of work lined up for him even before he has the forms ready. He has plenty of experience and will hopefully have a group join him to enable this division of the recovery to flow as smoothly and effectively as possible. Welcome to the team John -- you are a blessing to us all.

Monty received a call to help the Methodist relief effort with the raising of a home. He got a good start with just seeing what will be needed and having the homeowner prepare for tomorrow. Our good buddy, Chip, from up north is coming back to work with Monty tomorrow and they will dig into the project and hopefully accomplish just what needs to be done. Raising and/or leveling homes is not an easy job but they are ready to tackle it.

I also had the pleasure of accompanying one of the case managers to a client's home this afternoon. Eric did a fantastic job with Sharon. Sharon is in one of the areas where the city might be doing a buy-out of her home. The basement wall collapsed and the home has been declared structurally unsound. No one is allowed to enter because of this. She is in an apartment for the time being and is receiving the rental assistance from FEMA. She was feeling pressured by others to "do something!" Not knowing what is the right thing to do both Eric and I reassured her that she needs to wait! Wait is a tough word but even the Bible tells us there are times of waiting and she is in one of those times. It could be up to 18 months before the buy-out plans come into effect --- and that is half the time it usually takes to plan buy-outs! She had a smile on her face when we left and thanked us for easing some of the pressure she was feeling. She was also pleased to learn that her sometimes unannounced bouts of emotion are also completely normal and there is nothing wrong with her! Sometimes that smallest bit of reassurance counts as huge!

All these directions, everything seemingly happening at the same time --- and we are thrilled and blessed to be right in the big middle of it all! Thank YOU for making that possible!

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

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