TRAC, a community based 501c3 organization was formed in 1992 to address the long-term
recovery issues of Hurricane Andrew in Louisiana. We work in the areas of long-term disaster
recovery, disaster preparedness education, residential mitigation and education assistance,
and are the co-founder and coordinator of Bayou Area Readiness & Recovery. The BARR Group is
comprised of community organizations, emergency responders, government officials, public
entities, private agencies, and social service organizations that meet monthly to develop
and implement long-term recovery strategies. Our organization is the longest continuously
operating long-term recovery organization in the United States and was recognized by FEMA,
during the Clinton Administration, for “Superior Performance and Outstanding Achievement.”
In June 2006 TRAC was recognized for its best practices in disaster preparedness education by
the USDOTD in its Congressional Report: “Catastrophic Hurricane Evacuation Plan Evaluation,”
we were the only agency from Louisiana recognized. We have provided case management, construction
management, volunteer management, equitable resource distribution, financial assistance to those
affected by natural disasters in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes since Hurricane Andrew.
Review of our organization mission as it pertains to Long-Term Recovery
Our mission is to assist individuals/families who do not have the ability to recover on their
own over time. The majority of our client base consists of underinsured, uneducated, poor, disabled,
elderly and minority individuals primarily located in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes also including
relocating residents from other parishes, with no means of replacing what was lost.
TRAC’s disaster division, in the context of recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,
is engaged in a wide range of comprehensive services, including Advocacy, Housing Recovery, and Sustainable
Affordable Rural/Coastal Housing Development. Through federal, state, and local advocacy efforts, TRAC has
advocated on behalf of over 2300 families, resulting in approximately $10,000,000 in recovery assistance.
In terms of Housing Recovery, TRAC has been instrumental in the restoration of over 330 homes, representing
the coordination of over 332,665 volunteer hours and $5,006,460 of in-kind support. The primary focus of the
Sustainable Affordable Rural/Coastal Housing Development is the Lift House. A true collaborative effort,
the Lift House has been designed in partnership with Oxfam America, MIT, and TRAC and encompasses fiscal
investments from the American Red Cross, Catholic Social Services, Church World Service, Katrina Square Dancers,
and United Way for South Louisiana. Designed to withstand Category 5 hurricane-force winds, the Lift House
represents the future for not only this region, but for all rural/coastal areas. TRAC will complete 3 out of
the 5 homes in the pilot project by summer 2008.
Our public education division focuses on development, production and implementation of “pro-active education programs. In June 2005 we launched our pro-active disaster preparedness education campaigns simultaneously in 21 South LA Parishes, effectively reaching 2.5+million citizens. This project was funded through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and ended January 2007. AmeriCares Foundation funded the continuation of 2007 Campaign Storm Safe Louisiana in 21 parishes. 2008 Campaign Storm Safe Louisiana is currently waiting on funding approval from GOHSEP to expand program into 38 parishes or possible state-wide.
A brief overview of the current state of recovery efforts in our area
We are at the 36 month mark; our unmet needs committee continues to meet monthly, our full recovery coalition meets once a month. Currently we are simultaneously addressing recovery issues and assessing the “real” preparedness capabilities of our local government and its emergency management plans. Recovery in this area is advancing ahead of most other affected parishes to the east and west of us. This is however not indicative of the severity of both Hurricanes but of the institutional knowledge and recovery capabilities that exist here. We are moving families out of FEMA travel trailers and back into their homes. We continue to outreach to all communities within the 2 parish service area regarding the LA Road Home & State Elevation Program and how those funds are critical to the sustainability of their homes and the overall housing stock. We continue daily the dialogue with LA Road Home governing agencies in hopes that by pointing out the problems with the program itself together we can reach the ultimate goals that the billion of dollars were intended for. We are relentlessly pursuing that equitable assistance is provided to all our clients.
Looking ahead – January 2008 – 2009
We will continue with our reconstruction projects, the LA Road Home & Elevation advocacy, resolution, appeal services, and construction project management, and construction education. We will continue to develop ongoing construction volunteer resources, and partner to provide volunteer housing through 2008 (the date may be extended). We will continue to assess the unmet needs that either the shortfalls of the LA Road Home, ineligibility with the LA Road Home, or lack of realistic elevation assistance will demonstrate and pursue funding sources to meet those needs. We will continue to develop sustainable rural coastal housing to replace destroyed homes; supporting the bayou cultures right to live on the fragile lands that are their life and livelihood.
TRAC will continue to provide:
- Client Advocacy
- Construction Supervision, Volunteer Worksite Supervision, Construction Estimation
- Volunteer Management, Volunteer Project Management
- Sustainable Housing Development and Technical Assistance – “The LA Lift House”
- Development, Management of all existing programs and those developed organically in the future in conjunction with recovery.
|TRAC Recognitions To Date|
|Recognized by USDOTD in report to Congress on Catastrophic Hurricane Evacuation Plan Evaluation. Out of six chose, TRAC is only non-profit and only agency from Louisiana.||2006|
|Featured in first "Award for Superior Performance and Outstanding Achievement" - FEMA:||1999|
|Featured in first "Good Ideas Book" - FEMA||1996|
|Featured in first "FEMA ACT NOW Video Conference Series" - FEMA||1995|
|Featured in first "Compendum of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management" - FEMA||1995|