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Red Cross volunteers join community effort to rehab homes

Volunteers help rehab homes in Northeaster NY
“The recovery and resiliency day in Amsterdam is a great example of how community collaboration is the most effective way to work through the social difficulties and physical damage due to a natural disaster,” said Michael Raphael, Red Cross.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York and other community organizations from the Fulton Montgomery Long Term Recovery Committee (FMLTRC) participated in the Community Recovery and Resiliency Day program on Saturday, April 20, during the City of Amsterdam’s citywide clean-up day.

More than 40 families in Montgomery and Fulton County are still living in damaged and moldy homes from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. Very few resources are left to support these families, so the FMLTRC has decided to bring the community together to assist the families.

“The recovery and resiliency day in Amsterdam is a great example of how community collaboration is the most effective way to work through the social difficulties and physical damage due to a natural disaster,” said Michael Raphael, Response Manager for the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region.

Many community groups gathered behind Amsterdam City Hall for a discussion on resiliency, which was followed by the day’s orientation and breakfast provided by the Salvation Army. Teams then dispatched throughout the city to assist with the clean-up and rehab of eight designated area homes that still have long-term damage from the 2011 storms. Much of the home rehabilitation work included mold remediation and the restoration of wet walls, wet insulation, as well as damaged masonry and flooring.

“The community’s recovery process includes preparing for future disasters by planning collaboratively and developing networks that can be called upon when disaster strikes. According to resiliency experts the more the community is proactive about building these essential community relationships, the more effective the recovery and response to disasters will be,” added Raphael.

Local groups joining the Red Cross include the Salvation Army, Albany Presbyterian Disaster Response Task Force, Montgomery County United Way, River of Jubilee Church, Storm Aid 2011, Catholic Charities, Disaster Case Management, students from Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Montgomery County Emergency Management Office, Centro Civico, the Amsterdam Volunteer Fire Department and the NYS Youth Construction Initiative Program.