GGLTRC updates Commission on continuing disaster response

During a brief Greenbrier County Commission meeting on Tuesday evening, the Greater Greenbrier Long-Term Recovery Committee (GGLTRC ) gave a presentation to gain an endorsement from the commission.

According to Chairman of the Board Dave Lumsden and Vice Chair Matt Ford, the GGLTRC was established on July 12, 2016, immediately after the devastating flood of June 23, when 12 West Virginia counties were declared disaster areas. The committee evolved out of the volunteer coordination effort run by the Greenbrier County Office of Emergency Management. Using the guidelines from FEMA and the West Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), GGLTRC became a 501(3)C non-profit organization with the objective of filling in the gaps not met by private insurance and government assistance following a disaster. Some of those unmet needs include financial support, supplies, furniture, appliances, equipment, and spiritual counseling.

FEMA had a total of 2,839 cases back  in June, of which, GGLTRC handled 964. There are 14 volunteer disaster case managers (DCM) currently handling a caseload of 320 active assignments, and there are 644 cases still awaiting assignment to a DCM. Thanks to a FEMA grant, four more DCMs will be installed to assist case management operations in Greenbrier County. More are needed, Lumsden said.

GGLTRC address the needs of disaster survivors with the following objectives:

  • Provide physical, emotional, and spiritual resources to those affected by the disaster, without discrimination.

  • Provide coordinated leadership for long-term recovery from disaster.

  • Assess needs, both present and future.

  • Obtain and connect resources.

  • Provide long-term assistance to individuals and businesses who do not have adequate resources for basic needs as a result of the disaster.

  • Advocate for ongoing recovery efforts and long-term assistance for needs of the communities in Greenbrier County affected by disaster.

  • Provide coordinated leadership and management of long-term recovery efforts not met by relief systems such as FEMA, the American Red Cross, the Small Business Administration, and others.

GGLTRC is working with many partners to insure solutions are found in order to rebuild a healthy, functioning community that can sustain itself over time. Identifying and seeking solutions to resolve any factors that contributed to the disaster are also efforts they hope to put to use. Partners list includes the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley, Rhema Christian Center, Neighbors Loving Neighbors, Homes for White Sulphur Springs, City National Bank, Trinity United Methodist Church, Red Cross, Emanuel United Methodist Church, Greenbrier County Homeland security and Emergency Management, St. James Episcopal Church, Appalachia Service Project, City of Rainelle, GVEDC, Summit Bank, Ronceverte Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities of West Virginia, Monroe Health Center and Mennonite Disaster Services.

Lumsden stated that there is still much work to be done with regard to economic recovery in Greenbrier County, and he asked the commission to pass along any priorities they may have to help the county continue to recover from the June disaster. The commissioners offered their thanks to Lumsden and Ford for their efforts on behalf of the citizens of the county.

In other business:

  • The commissioners accepted one of two bids under consideration for a contract to audit the county offices, an annual requirement. They accepted the bid of Balestra, Harr and Scherer, CPAs, Inc., the same firm which handled last year’s audit.
  • During the approval of financials, as reported by County Clerk Robin Loudermilk, Commissioner Woody Hanna asked that an Arts and Rec transfer for $50,000 to the Greenbrier Valley Theatre for programming be tabled until the next meeting to allow him more time to review the content of the programming schedule. Commission President Mike McClung said that no censorship of programming is intended with tabling the item.

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