Tuesday, September 09, 2008

With love - from Lima

Where would we be without Tshirts?? Perish the thought!
The team came prepared to work and that's exactly what they did -- the entire day! They made tremendous progress and were even joined by another member of Lee's church. Every single set of hands makes a big difference!
They started hanging the sheetrock on the ceilings. You always do them first and then work your way downward. The first sheet held up next to the ceiling actually helps hold up the ceiling and makes for a nice tape seam in the end.
Monty worked with the team most of the day. This enabled them to divide into two teams and get even more work done.
And once again my mom prepared their lunches and delivered them directly to the work site. No time to waste on trying to clean up, drive somewhere and then come back == too much wasted time! Thanks Mom!
I spent my morning with our weekly case management meeting. We were pleased to have a member of the City come and give us some much needed information. There is an area here in town where the City is considering "buy-outs" of the homes. This means the homeowners may be offered their assessment value (before the flood) as a buy out price. The city would then clear the land and be responsible for its upkeep. They are considering this in one of the worst flooded areas. This area would be susceptible to flooding in the future and this would be one way to lessen the damage sustained by the city in the event of another flood. This is NOT a speedy process and those in waiting are in temporary housing, apartments or FEMA trailers awaiting word. The entire process could take in excess of 18 months so we all were pleased to learn a bit more about everything.
We also hear from some of our resource people during the weekly meetings. Today we learned more about a loan being offered at one local bank and a grant at another. Both of these have strict criteria that must be met but there will be just the right client and we all need to be aware of each and every resource being offered.
Our neighbor, Shelley, also returned to spend her day off working here with the case managers. She was once again busy on the phones putting her Spanish to work! Thanks Shelley, especially when I know you weren't feeling all that well but you made the trip and were such a blessing!
At our meeting this morning we also learned that we will be receiving 2 more case managers who are fluent in Spanish! This is priceless as we have a very large Hispanic population who were flooded and without the means to communicate with them getting them help is next to impossible! We anxiously await Myriam and Amparo's arrival!
This afternoon brought another meeting. We have combined a few of the subcommittees into one and it has been very beneficial to all involved. There are a few of the subcommittees who must work together in constant communication and combining the meetings has made that communication so much easier.
You might be wondering why there are so many meetings!! This city is putting together a long term recovery program and that takes much planning and even more meetings! When you are starting from scratch, especially right after a disaster, it's a tough job. This long term recovery will also put plans into motion to assist both individuals and organizations with ways to avoid another disaster and if unable to avoid it -- knowing what to do when it happens. If every city in the United States put together a long term recovery team no one would be caught off guard when a disaster hit! Trouble is that no one thinks it will happen to them---it's just something you read about happening to someone else somewhere else! Are YOU ready? Is YOUR city ready? It's worth checking in to!
Think about it!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

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