Iowa’s Community Organizations Are Key Pieces in Recovery

Larry Smith Washington County Emergency Manager
From what I see, the biggest benefit of having a COAD will increase our response so that we can enhance it, so we have our partners pre-identified and what kinds of things they can bring to the table, resources to the table before the events gonna happen. It is the faith based organizations and the volunteer organizations that are the backbone of the recovery effort. Whether it’s a small disaster or a huge disaster you can’t predict it. Couple of years ago, there was a disaster where I lived. We didn’t have any COAD we just had the fire department red cross emergency manager we didn’t have any long term recovery program or anything like that there. I lived in that same house for 15 years, never even got water in the basement and I ended up getting 9 ½ feet – 10 feet of water and oil in our house and they had to totally destroy it. If we would have had a recovery program there, our community would have been much better off. And, that is one thing I stress to these communities here is if you already have something set up then you are already prepared for when the disaster happens. Preparedness is the best way to go on any type of disaster. The individual needs to be prepared and have a preparedness kit so that way if something does happen they can be already there and know where they are going whether it’s a house fire, tornado or whatever it may be. So if you are prepared for your disaster, you’re to be a lot better off and have your resources all in hand so once a disaster happens all you do is pick up the phone and say we need this, this and this. And then people, you already have your resources. We would have to – we would scramble but we could get it done but we could do it better if we had a group like this. Like I said, we would have our partners pre-identified so we are not kinda duplicating any of our efforts so we would have a smooth as can be response for everybody. You bring your resources together before it ever happens and when you bring these resources together your community,your county or your state is going to recover a lot more than it would if you hadn’t had something in your area.

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