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Volunteers stand ready to help

East Bernard Express of East Bernard, Texas

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On last Thursday night, more than 60 Wharton County citizens met to form the Wharton County Recovery Team. All citizens of Wharton County are encouraged to join in the rebuilding of Wharton and East Bernard after the floods that happened in April and in May.

"With this many people at your first meeting, I think Wharton County will have a great recovery team." said John Chavez, a voluntary agency liaison from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Stephen Johnson, emergency management coordinator for the city of Wharton, said the team is being modeled after a similar one formed in Bastrop County following that county's devastating wildfires.

"We've got a lot of folks that are in need," Johnson said. "We've got to come together as a community to help these folks. This is a county wide deal. This is a community organization to help one another."

Seven committees were formed, and the Wharton County Recovery Team will need volunteers to continuously staff and fill positions.

There is still room for more volunteers in each committee: Case Management, Fi-Resources, Construction, Spiritual/Emotional and Mental Health Counseling, Volunteer Management, Communications and Donated Goods Management.

The meeting held Thursday gave a detailed description of each committee.

Case Management Team involves collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's and family's comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality, cost-effective outcomes.

Financial Resources Team provides the money or security of money available to people during the flood including grant, loans, cash donations and credit lines.

Construction Team provides the process of constructing a building or infrastructure. As well as, finding materials and volunteers to donate, paint and rebuild homes.

Spiritual/Emotional and Mental Health Counseling Team provides mental and spiritual guidance and help people deal with stress or other problems that have come to them during the disaster.

Volunteer Management Team is here to motivate, lead and supervise volunteers to make sure anyone that wants to help can get to the right place at the right time.

Communications Team provides access and organization of media outlets, provides press releases of volunteer work, takes photos, builds websites, updates all social media and provides updates for all volunteers.

Those who are looking for a way to help and are unsure about what to do can attend the next meeting, and others can help them find a team.

The meetings are open to all volunteers to help the community recover from the April flood.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Wharton Civic Center. Meetings will be held weekly in the beginning.

For more information, call the City of Wharton Office of Emergency Management at 979-532-4811, Ext. 570 or the Wharton County Office of Emergency Management at 532-1123.

Keith Magee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 East Bernard Express, East Bernard, Texas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 9, 2016

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