Long-Term Community Recovery in Georgia

Today we took the opportunity to address some of the emergency managers who were impacted by the recent flooding in Georgia. Usually, our typical way that we’re activated is through the state coordinating officer or the governor coordinating with the federal coordinating officer to say, yes, we might need ESF-14 long-term community recovery assistance in our recovery. They actually come in and assist the local government agencies, instead of dealing with individuals. They’ll come in and assist local governments, whether it be commissioners, your local emergency management agencies, law enforcement. They’ll get all those agencies together and do an assessment for the county, as do they need? What does the local government need to help the citizens? We’re a facilitator in a lot of ways. A lot of these programs, under their own authority, are being delivered. But in a holistic way we can bring everybody together to address the problem. Maybe put other groups that might be able to support each other in long-term recovery and complement resources and just to facilitate addressing the needs that need to be addressed. On the community level, on the local government level, it’s more technical assistance. Here in the metro Atlanta area, we have great folks working. It’s just someone to turn to and say, hey, I’ve got this issue do you know how to fix it? What FEMA bring in is people from different areas of the country to where they may have gone through a similar event and they can tell us this is how we did it and it worked well and we can tweak that to fit our needs. It’s been great because we can turn to them and say we haven’t had this situation before, what can we do? Between all of them, they’ve said hey, this particular government agency can come in and provide technical assistance; they can provide this type of resources to you at the government level to help you get through this. This has been a huge disaster for metro Atlanta. We haven’t seen this much water, I don’t think ever. The FEMA folks who’ve come in have really been professional, they’ve been great and they’ve really helped our communities.

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