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Sundown by Douglas Sciorra

FEMA, Homeland Security sit down with Steuben County Mobility Manager

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Institute for Human Services and NY Disaster Interfaith Services also at roundtable

In rural areas, no one service can meet all needs. Mobility management combines multiple providers and volunteers together to provide comprehensive travel resources for the residents of Steuben County. The Mobility Manager leads the Steuben Coordinated Transportation program and has formed the SCT Advisory Committee. Transportation providers include public transit systems, nonprofit and consumer-specific services, volunteer programs, and private & for-profit transportation planners, funders, and consumers.

One of the roles that the Steuben County Mobility Manager is tasked with is facilitating the Southern Tier- Finger Lakes COAD, no two disasters are alike. The impact on each individual is different. The needs of each are unique and often unmet. However, a community and its citizens are unquestionably better served if a Community Organization Active in Disaster (COAD) is in place for planning and education long before a disaster strikes. Communities that bring resources together in a COAD can increase the effectiveness of their response to the needs of disaster survivors in a timely way, thereby reducing the social and economic impact of the disaster. 

In Attendance was Belinda Hoad (IHS Executive Director), Eddie VanStine (Steuben County Mobility Manager), Maggi Daigle(NYS Department Of Homeland Security) Kimberly Grisham (FEMA), Robert Carter (Team Rubicon), Peter Gudaitis(Executive Director and CEO, NY Disaster Interfaith Services).

By utilizing 211 as a one stop call center, we can collect the data necessary to coordinate efforts needed elsewhere after a natural disaster hits. The meeting was to assess the current COAD Plan and discuss any gaps and opportunities that can be improved. 211 is a 24/7 call center to help the community in anyway it can. It provides a comprehensive information service that is designed to assist all segments of the general population. 2-1-1 HELPLINE manages a database of community resources consisting of health and human service providers, nonprofits, educational programs, support & civic groups, and local, city, and county services for a five-county area.

COAD was a key influencer to help with community needs after the Flood that Devastated Jasper and Woodhull. areas “I feel it was very important to meet with the state representatives face to face to get a better understanding of what happened in Woodhull and how we can learn from that and improve plans for the future”. “After meeting with Tim Marshall (Steuben County Emergency Services Director) who was one of the leads that started the ST-FL COAD,” I wanted to keep that program he and other leaders of the county had developed strong and ready!””. “I want to be prepared when Tim and his team calls for community support assistance” (Eddie VanStine ,SC Mobility Manager)

Another topic of discussion was the previous record blizzard in Buffalo. The main points brought up were that if this was to happen in Steuben County, are we ready and do we have a good plan in place. “The main goal is to plan for the worst and try and think of every scenario that could or can happen on a community support level, this way we can help the disaster area victims in proficient timely manner” Says Eddie VanStine (SC Mobility Manager).

COAD Incorporates Representatives from a majority of the community-based programs Like United Way and Catholic Charites. COAD is housed and Facilitated By the Institute of Human Services Located in Bath NY. Belinda Hoad – Executive Director (Former 211-Steuben County Director of Mobility Management) Of IHS was the previous COAD Chair and attended the meeting to give feedback on how 211, and Mobility Management was and will remain a vital piece to this Community Effort.

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