JANS – Bolivar County Long Term Disaster Recovery Committee Chairman, DeVoyce C. Morris, announced that the organization recently hosted a training session, “Long Term Recovery: When Repair Rebuilding Is Involved,” at the Bolivar County Expo building in Cleveland, Miss.
Dale and Jean Peercy, national trainers for Lutheran Disaster Response, from Ohio, conducted the training. Dale and Jean Peercy are widely considered to be the “go-to folks” on construction management in disaster response, particularly during the long-term recovery phase.
They both had their own construction businesses before becoming involved in long-term recovery following disasters. With Lutheran Disaster Response since 1996, they have directed some 90,000 volunteers from several different voluntary agencies in 22 different long-term recovery groups in several different regions of the United States.
In 2000, the Peercys developed an Excel program to estimate repair costs of disaster-affected homes, and in 2004 they developed a construction management flow chart that was placed in the National VOAD Manual as the recommended construction flow. At that time, Lutheran Disaster Response was requested to make the Peercys trainers and consultants.
Dr. Portia B. Espy, CEO and President of the Mississippi Urban League, invited me to a training session that she was sponsoring in Jackson,” said Morris. “I was so impressed with the session that I immediately asked the Peercys if they would come to Bolivar County, and they readily agreed,” continued Morris. “I had to act expeditiously as they had announced their plans to retire in December of 2023,” she stated.
This training session brought together Emergency Management Agency (EMA) directors and other participants from as far away as Starkville, Hattiesburg, and a team of three came from Oxford. Carlos Martinez, a member of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) Office of Individual Assistance, was also in attendance. Cleveland mayor, Billy Nowell and County Administrator, Will Hooker, greeted participants on behalf of the city of Cleveland and Bolivar County.
Lutheran Disaster Response collaborates with other disaster response organizations and religious entities in the United States and around the world, which enables the greatest stewardship of resources and maximum impact of response. According to Lutheran Disaster Response, it is a welcome partner because it respects the perspectives and strengths of others.
The Bolivar County Long Term Disaster Recovery Committee is a 501(c)3 organization that subsists on donations, grants, and fundraisers. No member of the organization receives any remuneration of any kind, choosing instead to be of service to humanity.
Tax deductible donations may be made at Cleveland State Bank, Cleveland, MS 38732, or mailed to Bolivar County Long Term Disaster Recovery Committee, PO Box 567, Mound Bayou, MS 38762. “If anyone is looking for a charitable organization for a tax write off before December 31, please consider the BCLTDRC,” said Morris. “We can be contacted by phone at 662-719-0090 and emailed at email@example.com,” she continued.