One year after the tragic explosion and fire at the Flower Branch Apartments, an emergency response planning work group of the Long Branch Partners Service Providers completed a basic plan that will mobilize and coordinate community resources to support emergency response and recovery from future emergencies. The work group was made up of 25 participants representing 13 Long Branch Network Service Provider organizations. Recent immigrants and socio-economically disadvantaged people are especially vulnerable to disasters of all kinds. This plan will make the socio-economically and culturally diverse Long Branch community more resilient when the next emergency strikes.
The plan establishes a permanent committee that will hire an emergency coordinator and recruit teams to perform specific functions, such as bringing qualified bi-lingual and culturally competent volunteers to translate in shelters, and facilitate personal supports and legal representation to those affected by emergencies. The plan was developed with technical support from the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Representatives from the County Department of Health and Human Services were also present throughout the development of the plan and offering input.