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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2007
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Survey to help prepare workers for next storm

GULF SHORES (AP) — Baldwin County workers involved in hurricane recovery will be surveyed in an effort to improve future disaster response in coastal communities.

With a $15,000 grant from United Way of Alabama, volunteers from Gulf Shores United Methodist Church plan to interview members of Baldwin social services, churches and other agencies that worked with victims of Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, said Amelia Fletcher, one of the project’s organizers.

“With all the information that we’ve learned from Ivan and Katrina, the faith-based groups, civic groups and others, education and social workers, just the entire population, have so much that could be used by others,” she said.

Besides the work with storm victims in Baldwin County, the program will also look at efforts by local agencies to assist residents in other areas, such as Mississippi and Louisiana.

Report

When the survey is complete, program workers will compile a report and PowerPoint presentation to be presented to local relief agencies and governments.

Fletcher said program participants hope to interview as many as 200 Baldwin volunteers and workers involved in storm recovery programs.

Fletcher said that two years after Katrina, Baldwin volunteers are still working to help Katrina victims, both those who have moved here from harder-hit areas to the east and local residents affected by the storm.

She said many Katrina victims may harbor psychological problems that will plague them for years.

Survey workers plan to meet with local agencies and volunteers in “coffee and conversation” discussions in Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Other meetings could also be held in the offices of other agencies around Baldwin, such as Catholic Social Services in Robertsdale and Ecumenical Ministries in Fairhope, she said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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