On August 3rd 2005 the 15 member Board of Directors of the Interfaith Community Outreach (ICO) voted to serve as a member of the Emergency Management Operation Center (EOC) team. Robert Palombo, an ICO Board Member serves as the liaison between Dare County Emergency Management Command Center and the ICO; coordinating high level recovery issues in cooperation with other EOC members such as Social Services, Health Department, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.
The ICO’s responsibility in this role locally will be to provide one single point of contact for the public in requesting needs and providing resources. Volunteers will be responsible for matching needs to resources and will man a call center located at the Chamber of Commerece. The plan includes a multi member team of volunteers who will operate the phones in two shifts from 7am until 10pm in the event of a disaster. A working relationship between the ICO and the Dare County Department of Social Services, Health Department, Beach Food Pantry, Hotline, a large number of local businesses and the Community Care Clinic of Dare is already in place and all entities will work closely together at a local level in the event of a disaster.
ICO Disaster Recovery Mission
The mission of the Interfaith Community Outreach – Disaster Recovery Program (ICO-DRP) is to partner with the Dare County EOC recovery efforts after a disaster. The benefit of its involvement is the ability of ICO to facilitate the proper utilization of essential/non-emergency resources provided by EOC and the community and to coordinate the efforts of the EOC with local church, non-profit, civic and volunteer resources.
The ICO Recovery Team is charged with activating a three pronged operation immediately after the “event” or when the ICO Disaster Recovery Program Team can safely secure the operations and staff at its emergency locations. The director of the Emergency Management Center will make this determination. The Call Center will be activated only upon the order given by the Dare County Emergency Management Director.
The Three Functions are
Staffed for the proper management of emergency phones for the hours of 8:00 AM through 9:00 PM (or as otherwise determined by EOC with back-ups) for the duration of the emergency recovery efforts. The Call Center will prioritize needs, group together needs, direct callers to proper resource or authority, or make direct contact with appropriate resource or authority on behalf of the caller. In addition, the Shift Supervisors at the Call Center will be responsible for providing the EOC with two media updates each day by the requested times.
The purpose of this function is to alleviate the volume of direct calls to the EOC, Utilities, Social Services, etc. so as to allow essential staff to concentrate their efforts on direct recovery and relief, rather than fielding phone calls that may be adequately handled at the ICO level.
ICO appoints one qualified individual, with one back up individual, as their representative to the EOC support team. This person will be responsible for receiving information from and delivering information to EOC, EOC Support Team Members and ICO.
The key purpose of the liaison function is to serve as a “single contact” for communication between the Call Center and the Emergency Operations Center.
ICO works in conjunction with the EOC and its Purchasing Division to identify and staff convenient recovery distribution centers, and to assist the EOC in the determination of needs to facilitate inventory stocking and distribution.
The purpose of properly managed Distribution Centers is to evaluate, in conjunction with Call Center feedback, the type of inventory needed at specific Distribution Centers, and to communicate to the Call Center throughout the Recovery Period, as to the status of inventory to trigger calls necessary to facilitate the restocking of the Distribution Centers.
The following “ICO Disaster Recovery Control Group Members” are responsible for the development of Standard Operational Guidelines and the adherence to protocol as it is defined by the ICO and EOC. They each bring to the table a range of experience derived from careers in the public, private, military, church and non-profit sectors.
As a team they have experience in Emergency Operations, Hurricane Claims Catastrophe Management, Finance, Community Relations, Social Services, and Church Operations. It is a well rounded team committed to its contribution to the recovery objectives as defined by ICO and the EOC. In addition, they solicit and engage volunteers, as well as remain in contact with volunteers pertaining to scheduling, etc., and train volunteers in ICO protocol and guidelines