ACF Immediate Disaster Case Management Team Deployed to Serve Houston Area Flood Survivors

A team of trained and experienced disaster case managers is on the ground in Texas, helping those impacted by the devastating spring floods in Houston and numerous surrounding counties.

Damaged property from the Houston area floodsDamaged property from the Houston area floods.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Immediate Disaster Case Management (IDCM) program is in Houston, Texas and surrounding counties to responding to historic flooding that impacted thousands of residents in the area.

In April 2016, severe thunderstorms dropped 10-18 inches of heavy rain across southeast Texas, leading to significant flash flooding. Due to the severity of this flooding and impact to the local community, the State of Texas requested the ACF, IDCM program as part of its federal recovery request to FEMA.

The ACF Immediate Disaster Case Management program, administered by OHSEPR, helps states, tribes, U.S. territories, and local and non-profit organizations develop and manage capability for provision of disaster case management services when their communities are impacted in a disaster.

The IDCM program is currently serving residents in Texas who were impacted under disaster declarations DR-4269 and DR-4272. As of August 8, 2016, the IDCM program had made more than 13,400 calls to FEMA disaster registrants and provided community-based disaster case management services to more than 2,815 survivors.

Several different teams are involved in coordinating efforts around the IDCM mission:

  • The ACF Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) Incident Management Team (IMT) is providing the overall federal response and coordination.
  • The ACF Regional Emergency Managers Specialist (REMS) are providing IDCM Liaison Officer support to internal and external stakeholders on the ground in Houston.
  • The ACF, IDCM contractor, BCFS, is providing direct disaster case management to survivors impacted by the flooding.

To date, ACF has deployed six of its ACF REMS on a rotational basis to serve as liaisons and BCFS has activated 71 screened, trained, and credentialed disaster case managers to support the mission. The ACF IMT, with support from FEMA and BCFS also provided Disaster Case Management training to over 70 local & state governmental and non-governmental agency representatives in Houston and Richmond to assist local communities increase capacity for DCM services.

The ACF IDCM’s primary goal is to link individuals to resources and programs that will optimize a more rapid and equitable recovery through outreach, triage, and case management services. The services are free, confidential, and available to all eligible disaster impacted residents. The IDCM case managers assess disaster-caused unmet needs and work with the survivors to establish a recovery plan. Each case manager serves as a point of contact for the survivor and links them to resources that can assist with housing, clothing, food, transportation and other needs directly related to the disaster.

By Monte Wallace, Emergency Management Specialist, Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response 

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