February 27, 2014

CWS Tornado Recovery Workshops in Gifford March 19, Brookport March 21

Storm damaged home
A home in Gifford, Ill., damaged by the November 2013 tornado. Photo: Susanne Gilmore/CWS

Recovery from a disaster event requires a “whole community” approach, and Illinois’ tornado-battered Champaign and Massac counties are no exception.  Recovery also requires know-how, and that will be shared in two identical day-long workshops, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 19 in Gifford, Ill., and March 21 in Brookport, Ill.

Offered by Church World Service by invitation of the local long-term recovery committees, American Red Cross Illinois and FEMA, the “Disaster Recovery Tools Workshop” is for community members who want to help disaster survivors rebuild their homes and lives: long-term recovery leadership, faith-based groups, religious leaders, other community leaders, social service organizations, disaster case managers, and other persons concerned about recovery. 

Brookport and Gifford each have about 1,000 residents.  Last November’s tornado outbreak claimed four lives in Brookport.  It destroyed between 80 and 90 homes in each of the two towns, wiping out half of a mobile home park in Brookport. 

While it will focus on tornado recovery, the free workshop is open to anyone wanting to help following any disaster.  Organizers hope for participants from both Illinois and Kentucky.

The workshop gives an overview of how to form a long-term recovery group, disaster case management, volunteer management, construction management and emotional & spiritual care, with a focus on self-care of care givers. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions and participate in interactive learning.  Presenters will be available to discuss lessons learned and best practices gathered from decades of experience in large and small disasters.

CWS trainers will be joined by presenters from Lutheran Disaster Response, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). 

There is no cost to participants for the training, the lunch or materials.  The American Red Cross, Church World Service and CWS member denominations are funding the workshops.

Dates and locations:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 108 E. Church St., Gifford

Friday, March 21, 2014 - Brookport First Baptist Church, 700 Pell Rd., Brookport

Advance registration is not required but is strongly recommended, so that organizers can plan lunch and printed materials.  Persons may register for the session most convenient for them regardless of location.  Send an e-mail to sgilmore@cwsglobal.org by March 12, and be sure to provide the location of the workshop requested.