Bridging the Gap for Harvey Recovery

Credit: The Disaster Leadership Team

The Disaster Leadership Team (the Team) is a group of volunteer disaster leaders from across the country who have successfully led their own communities’ long-term recovery. Our team of volunteers have worked disasters that have included the Joplin tornado, the largest wildfires in California and Texas history, Hurricane Sandy, and other multiple large-scale fire and flooding events.

During the long, slow recovery process, the weight of a disaster survivor’s needs often weigh heavy on disaster leaders’ shoulders. This is where experienced Team members come in. We bridge the gap between what needs to be done to recover and the knowledge and experience necessary for recovery to happen. Team members provide one-on-one mentorship, training and support to communities throughout their disaster recovery to speed up the recovery process and create sustainable long-term recovery organizations (LTROs).

An LTRO brings community leaders, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations together to provide support for a community’s most vulnerable, individuals and families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to recover on their own. The LTRO coordinates financial donations and volunteers to assure that survivors are provided the assistance necessary to recover. The Team has helped 18 disaster-affected communities by establishing or supporting LTROs in Sevier County, Tennessee, Eureka, Kansas and 16 Harvey-affected counties in Texas.

Hurricane Harvey Recovery Summit, June 11-12

Thanks to the support of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, OneStar Foundation and the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Team will host its very first conference on June 11–12 in Galveston, Texas. We will bring together long-term recovery organizations from across the Harvey-affected area to talk openly about any recovery issues they face. Members of the Team will present on topics including volunteer recruitment and retention, grant writing and fundraising, emotional and mental health strategies and more. The conference will provide an opportunity for attendees to network with the Team and with each other so that hopefully in the future they will be the disaster leaders helping other communities recover.
For additional information about the Team, please visit

Christine Files

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