Corps Teams with Volunteer Agencies to Help Bring Stability to New Jersey
FEMA, the state of New Jersey, volunteer agencies and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working out of the State-FEMA Joint Field Office in Lincroft, NJ, began a Shelter In Place Assistance Program Nov. 14 to help New Jersey residents recover following Hurricane Sandy.
The program provides training, mentoring, and materials by Army engineers to Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, Mennonite and Methodist Men.
“The most important part of recovery is helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy get back to a sense of normalcy,” said Joel Hendrix, South Atlantic Division, Chief Readiness and Contingency Operations, who is leading the Corps efforts. “Nothing brings more stability to someone affected by disaster than getting back into their home.”
The program seeks to give VOAD groups the skills and materials necessary to make minor, temporary repairs to homes, such as boarding up windows with plywood. Allowing people to return to their homes so quickly after a disaster, said Hendrix, not only gives them time to make more permanent repairs but also minimizes the number of people seeking temporary shelter.
About 500 homes, many of which suffered water damage, will be assessed for possible repairs.
“Our job is to support the governor and the volunteers,” Hendrix said.
The Corps’ team is working in close coordination with FEMA, and state and locals officials.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.