July Twitter Chat
Once a month, we join United Way Worldwide’s Twitter Chat to feature our work and help make a big wave on Twitter.
What’s a Twitter Chat? It’s like a panel-based Q&A session. The “moderator” (Neil Parekh, Director of Network Communications for United Way Worldwide) posts a series of time-limited questions on Twitter, and the “panelists” (local United Ways in the U.S. and abroad) respond. The virtual chat features a single topic.
When chats are held via a public platform such as Twitter, we amplify United Way’s mission and highlight our collective impact. In fact, July’s chat garnered over 3,000,000 impressions.
Below is recap of the July Q&A, including Neil’s questions and our responses. The topic was Crisis Response / Disaster Recovery.
Q1. What is the most recent natural or man-made crisis / disaster that your United Way has responded to? And if it’s not the most recent, what was the biggest crisis / disaster you responded to?
A1. United Way of Williamson County was fortunate to help many families during extreme flooding in our region. Overall, nearly 11,000 properties were damaged and 10,000 people displaced.
Photo by Scott Harris, @MetroNashville OEM
Q2. Which organizations did you work with to coordinate recovery efforts and what was your role?
A2. Staff were part of the Williamson Co. Long Term Recovery Committee (WCLTRC). We managed communications & worked w/ @FEMA, @RedCrossTN, @T_E_M_A, Community Housing Partnership of Williamson Co., @GraceworksTN, @SBA_Tennessee, @WilliamsonTN EMA & @NationalVOAD.
Q3. Who are some of the corporate partners or major donors that supported your recovery work? Show them your gratitude.
A3. Several partners and organizations supported families’ recovery, including @TractorSupply and the TN Emergency Response Fund of @CFMT. Many partners contributed to United Way’s Flood Recovery Fund.
Q4. What role did volunteers (corporate or individual community members) play in your recovery work?
A4 1/2. Volunteers were the backbone of recovery and provided invaluable labor. Many used their vehicles to transport supplies. Churches volunteered and housed out-of-town helpers. Several orgs. provided emergency shelter.
A4 2/2. The WCLTRC team convened meetings on family recovery needs and collectively recruited skilled volunteer caseworkers, carpenters, drywall and floor installers, electricians and plumbers. Unskilled volunteers provided assistance.
Q5. Can you share a specific story of an individual or family that your United Way helped recover from this event?
A5. 2 kids of a single, diabetic father were sent to live w/ his parents due to their home’s condition post flooding. WCLTRC Casework Supervisor @RaineyDebby connected the father to healthcare, food assistance & counseling— all part of their reunification plan.
Q6. What role did 2-1-1 play in the response / recovery work? How many and what types of inquiries did they receive?
A6. 2-1-1 connected individuals and families to open shelters, shower and laundry trailers and provided contacts for services and locations for drop-off donations.
Q7. What was your best news coverage of your crisis / disaster recovery work?
A7. @Tennessean covered the flood & recently shared a video recap: http://ow.ly/aV4w30kToCh
And, we coordinated a broadcasted event at @ShopCoolSprings (a local mall) to provide families w/ community info, giveaways, interpreters, & necessities as clean towels.
Q8. How long did your United Way participate in crisis / disaster related activities after the initial event? Please share the latest or final report / news coverage.
A8. Caring continued after the water subsided. A year later, Williamson County sustained aid to our neighbors. It took time for some families to seek help. 5 years later, the WCLTRC continued to help those w/o insurance or other means to recover.
Q9. Do you have a business continuity or crisis / disaster preparedness plan in place? What do you wish you had in place that would have helped your United Way respond more effectively?
A.9 WCLTRC formed in ’08 after tornadoes ripped thru western Williamson Co. WCLTRC is chartered w/ the State of TN and meets at least once a year. We can enhance communications and recovery with text-to-give and text updates to donors and supporters.
That’s the end of our Twitter Chat. Thanks for reading!