As part of its continuing recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy, global humanitarian agency Church World Service announced Jan. 13 that it is coordinating a series of long term recovery trainings in New Jersey and New York, scheduled later this month.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and local New York and New Jersey presbyteries are helping facilitate and host several of the events.

The planned six workshops are designed to provide those helping communities rebuild and recover with “an overview of long term recovery and shares lessons learned and best practices gathered from decades of experience in large and small disasters,” said Barry Shade, CWS’s associate director for domestic emergency response.

“Recovery from a disaster event requires a whole-community approach,” he said.

CWS is working with a number of agencies in conducting the training. In addition to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), these include the New Jersey Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (VOAD), Lutheran Disaster Response, World Renew, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the New Jersey Emergency Management Agency, United Methodist Committee on Relief and the United Church of Christ.


All sessions will run from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

New Jersey:

Thursday, January 17 — Presbyterian Church of Toms River, 1070 Hooper Ave., Toms River, NJ  08753

Saturday, January 19 — Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, 716 Watchung Ave., Plainfield, NJ  07060

Those interested in registering for the New Jersey trainings should email  for the registration link.

New York:

Tuesday, January 22 — Stony Point Center (Hudson River Presbytery, Rockland County, NY) 17 Crickettown Rd Stony Point, NY 10980

Thursday, January 24 — Long Island Volunteer Center (in Long Island Presbytery, Nassau County, NY) 175 Central Avenue South Bethpage, NY 11714

Friday, January 25 — First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (New York City Presbytery, Long Island County, NY) 89-60 164th Street Jamaica, NY 11432 

Those interested in registering for the New York trainings should email


Urged to attend are those involved in long-term recovery leadership, faith based groups, religious leaders, community leaders, social service organizations, disaster case managers and other persons concerned about recovery.

CWS Emergency Response Specialists Joann Hale and Sandra Kennedy-Owes are helping coordinate the sessions.

What to expect:

Along with providing emergency relief supplies, CWS makes community level long-term recovery assistance a priority.  In recent years, the agency has used training seminar formats to maximize sharing of its expertise, and has provided grants to startup groups.

Building grassroots recovery infrastructure to help the poorest — those who are uninsured, under-insured or yet unserved by other sources — is part of CWS's emergency response work, and a cornerstone of CWS’s global focus on advance preparedness to reduce the risks of disasters.

Topics to be at the day-long seminars include: long-term recovery issues; community needs assessment; construction volunteers and management; disaster case management; emotional and spiritual care; FEMA individual assistance; and the national donations management system.

There is no cost for the training, lunch or materials. The training is a gift of CWS and the faith groups providing leadership. FEMA is supporting this training by providing travel and lodging expenses for the leaders.

Registration for the events is strongly recommended.  Although people may come without registration, it will be helpful to have a good idea of the number of persons at each site to provide lunch, handouts and other materials.