November 6, 2012
Dear Friends in New York and New Jersey,
On behalf of SBP’s staff, Board and the clients you have served, I wish you safety and prompt recovery from the impact of Superstorm Sandy – you are in our thoughts and prayers. We have been following your recovery closely; we are aware of the devastating impact of loss of property and belongings, and we also know, all too well, the emotional and physical impact of a delayed recovery.
Although there is still much work to be done in New Orleans, we have made a lot of headway, and we’ve learned some really valuable lessons. These lessons and best practices are the foundation of Disaster Recovery Lab, a training center SBP is creating for other disaster-impacted communities who can benefit from the lessons Hurricane Katrina taught us.
SBP is already sharing its model in Joplin, MO (operating as Rebuild Joplin – www.rebuildjoplin.org) and in the Isaac-impacted communities of Plaquemines and St. John Parishes here in Louisiana. With generous skill-based and financial support from Toyota, UPS, Entergy and Dow, and deeply leveraged by an increased AmeriCorps grant, we know we can do more.
For communities impacted by Sandy – and thanks to UPS – our initial plan is to host web-based training sessions with instructional videos that focus on critical first steps you and your community should take as you plan your recovery. These topics include:
1. How to prevent contractor fraud
2. How to properly treat your house for mold
3. How to communicate with your insurance company effectively
If you have other ideas how SBP can help with the recovery from Sandy, I would very much like to hear them. We are interested in your thoughts about this project, and we want to know about communities that will need our help – either through technical support or on-the-ground work. Please email DRL@stbernardproject.org with thoughts, comments or information about communities in need.
SBP was founded on three core principles: problems are solvable, community isn’t defined by proximity, and – after disaster – it is vital to treat impacted people the way that we would want our families treated. The 49,000 volunteers who have rebuilt 470 homes, and the generous donors who have made this happen have only reinforced our belief in this ethos – and in the need to share it with other disaster-impacted communities.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
Co-founder and CEO
For more information about Disaster Recovery Lab, please contact Reese May.