Local emergency management director’s guidance
for helping eastern Kentucky flood victims.
by Pat Conley/Citizen staff
Lloyde Campbell has learned a lot since being named (by Judge-Executive Mike Williams) emergency manager for all of Bourbon County in 2019.
He’s already dealt with a global pandemic, a major winter storm, a conflagration which took most of an historic block in downtown Millersburg, and most recently, a water emergency which affected some 80% of Bourbon County’s households.
Here’s his guidance for local folks wanting to support the monumental response and recovery efforts following almost unbelievable devastation caused by last week’s flooding over a wide portion of southeast Kentucky:
SEND CASH, NOT STUFF!
Campbell, who also serves as chief of Bourbon County Fire & Rescue, understands the potential for overwhelming already stressed local response systems with unsolicited goods and services, following a major emergency or disaster.
He notes the experience reported by Graves County’s Emergency Management Director Tracy Warner, who called the colossal convergence of spontaneous volunteers and supplies a “disaster within a disaster” following last December’s catastrophic tornadoes in western Kentucky.
“Ideally, monetary donations are always the most efficient way to help,” Campbell said in a phone interview Monday. “Ideally any donated goods or labor should be coordinated with the local emergency management agency.” Campbell cautioned against “just showing up” in the disaster area, and “becoming part of the problem”.
Financial donations allow local agencies and relief organizations obtain the specific types and quantities of needed goods. An additional benefit is the economic impact of purchasing supplies and materials in—or close to—the affected communities.
An exception to the “cash not stuff” rule would be if a specific relief agency or local organization makes a specific request for certain kinds and quantities of supplies or services, Campbell says. “Especially regarding clothing, because much of the donated clothing will likely end up in a landfill somewhere, speaking honestly . Donating used clothing—that’s sort of a thing of the past”.
“The initial focus is on rescue and recovery,” Campbell explains. “Then begins the lengthy ‘second wave’, which is recovery. That’s when local emergency management—and relief agencies—can better identify what help is needed, like cleaning supplies,” Campbell says.
Campbell noted that Governor Andy Beshear’s administration quickly established a “Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund”. Tax deductible donations can be mailed to:
Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, Public Protection Cabinet, 500 Mero Street, 218 NC, Frankfort KY 40601. Or go online to donate electronically at: “Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund”.
Campbell acknowledges that some of the unsolicited goods and labor indeed end up being useful and appreciated, despite the standard guidance to donate “cash not stuff”. Groups and individuals from Bourbon County sent supplies to Bowling Green, Dawson Springs, Mayfield and other communities following the tornadoes there last December. Campbell was not aware of any efforts underway—here in Bourbon County—to collect supplies for the eastern Kentucky flood recovery.
Campbell says Kentucky also has a strong “VOAD” (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster”) network, which links prospective donors to relief groups working in the disaster area. For more information on VOAD: www.kentuckyvoad.org
At press time, Campbell said he had not received any requests for first response agency mutual aid from Bourbon County to the eastern Kentucky disaster area.
Other options and opportunities to donate:
Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA)
Establishes Flood Relief Fund
Money donated to Kentucky Rural Health Collaborative will help safety net providers recover
Frankfort, Ky. (August 3, 2022) The Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA) announced ithas established a fund for donations to eastern Kentucky flood victims. All donations to Kentucky Rural Health Collaborative(https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=QVS7N429ZKM6U) will provide relief to Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in the flooded region. The donations will help those safety net providers, who are KPCA members, support the needs of healthcare workers and providers in communities hard hit by flooding.
“KPCA is committed to helping our members in the region, and their patients, recover. This relief fund is one of the many ways KPCA is taking immediate action to help,” said Molly Lewis, Interim Chief Executive Officer at KPCA. “Our team is working with the clinics to meet their needs. Several truckloads of relief supplies have already been delivered to them, more are on the way, and we’re just getting started! Donations to our Kentucky Rural Health Collaborative will help ensure residents have access to the essential health services provided by our CHC and RHC members. Please make a donation to help our safety net providers today.”
Your organization can also direct donations to:
Kentucky Rural Health Collaborative
651 Comanche Trail
Frankfort, Ky 40601
About Kentucky Primary Care Association
The Kentucky Primary Care Association was founded in 1976 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation of community health centers, rural health clinics, primary care centers and all other organizations and individuals concerned about access to health care services for the state’s under-served rural and urban populations. KPCA is charged with promoting the mutual interests of our members, with a mission to promote access to comprehensive, community-oriented primary health care services for the underserved. To lean more, visit https://kpca.net/
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