Disaster Recovery Trainings: Equipping survivors to be their own advocates

After an immediate deployment in December, SBP’s team deployed again in January to tornado-impacted regions to provide recovery navigation training and develop a plan to support long-term recovery by collecting data to better understand resource gaps.

Winner Mweneshele and Mwatwmw Omari, refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arrived in the U.S. just before the pandemic began in 2020. This past December, they survived the tornados that swept through their new home city of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Our team met other refugees who recently came through the International Center of Kentucky as well as families who’d lived in Bowling Green their entire lives. Both kinds of Kentucky residents are overwhelmed and unprepared for the steps they need to take to recover from the devastating tornadoes.

Winner Mweneshele joins one of our disaster recovery trainings in Bowling Green.

What we can offer is a process — because we’ve learned things from being in their position — to help them navigate the next steps. We’ve been doing disaster recovery trainings all over Tennessee and Kentucky this last month, trying to reach as many survivors as possible. Sometimes that means we’re training the trainers, non-profit partners like Be the Village, who will take our information and equip their network.

Brent Childers, Director, Neighborhood & Community Services, brought SBP in to lead city-wide disaster recovery trainings.

Other times, as is the case with Bowling Green, we serve the municipalities directly in educating their citizens. We field questions and outline processes. We remind them that contractor fraud is real and what to look out for. Most importantly, we encourage them, over and over to be their own advocate, to never stop fighting for what they deserve when it comes to their home and their family’s needs.



SBP: Shrinking time between disaster & recovery

Bringing discipline & innovation to create social impact. Shrinking the time between disaster & recovery for at-risk communities. sbpusa.org