Disaster Response

Every few years, tropical storms or hurricanes hit Montgomery County, causing floods, downed trees and wind damage.  During these disasters, life is brought to a standstill – especially for families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.  Often, these families need help getting back on their feet again.  After Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, Montgomery County United Way stepped forward to coordinate non-profit organizations and route resources and information throughout the county to people who had been flooded.  Collectively, those who joined the coalition crafted a plan for the next event’s recovery efforts and have met regularly since that time.  
 
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MCCARES
 
MCCARES (Montgomery County Community Assistance Recovery Efforts and Services) focuses on long term recovery efforts for residents of Montgomery County. It is the VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and Long Term Recovery Committee for Montgomery County.  MCCARES is co-chaired by Montgomery County United Way and Interfaith of The Woodlands. 

Each disaster is unique.  Areas addressed after a disaster include but are not limited to temporary and permanent shelter and housing, household goods, food, clothing, medical supplies and prescriptions, employment, and case management to help navigate available services.

During a disaster, Montgomery County United Way staff members are in the Montgomery County Emergency Operation Center to coordinate efforts and resources such as:

  • Manage volunteers and donations for the county 

  • Meet with local governments and businesses to enhance community understanding of not-for-profit agencies’ role in the case of future disasters

  • Gather, manage, and distribute information to employers and organizations working with victims of disasters

  • Mobilize local, state, and national resources to help local residents 

  • Manage the distribution of government grants to residents who have been affected by the event, such as a SSBG grant for long term recovery  

  • Write grants to support recovery efforts that are both tangible for the residents and supportive to MCCARES.  Grants may also be written for Liberty County’s recovery efforts 

  • Work closely with the Montgomery County Public Health Department at Montgomery County Hospital District to assist at inoculation sites across the county, should the need arise

  • Work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other national agencies

MCUW also manages a volunteer and donation website, Help Our County, where volunteers can find opportunities, post items to donate and nonprofits can post volunteer opportunities and donation needs. When disaster strikes, Help Our County goes into "Disaster Mode" making the site focused on meeting the demands of the community and local agencies during the immediate aftermath of a disaster. When a volunteer registers, they will have the opportunity to select skills that can be utilized during a disaster. If a disaster occurs, the volunteer will be contacted if their skills are needed.

 

To volunteer to help during or after a disaster, United Way encourages people to register with their volunteer coordination website, www.helpourcounty.org.