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Relief Group Offers to Help Sparta Train for Disasters

World Care Center worked with eight homes in the township during Hurricane Irene.

When the winds of Hurricane Irene were wailing last August and the flood water rising, volunteers from the World Care Center were among those answering telephone calls at the NJ211 help line.

Lisa Orloff, a regional representative for the World Care Center told the Sparta Township Council Tuesday that her disaster management organization would be willing to assist Sparta in its disaster training and planning.

Orloff, of Montclair, told the council that during Irene her agency worked with 18 Sussex County homes, including eight in Sparta.

World Care Center is a non-profit agency that provides disaster response training, she said. In New Jersey, the agency has worked with local offices of emergency management, municipal councils, and response trainers.

The agency contacts the local Red Cross office, the Salvation Army and the local food pantries to understand their capabilities and needs, she said.

The agency is funded through grants and its own fundraising, Orloff said.

According to its website, the agency provided aid for the victims of several large disasters, including the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City; the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004; Hurricane Katrina in 2005; Haiti following the earthquake in 2010; and Japan after the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

In 2011, World Care actively responded to several disasters including the earthquake/tsunami in Japan; the Alabama and Joplin, Mo., tornadoes; and the Wallow and Monument fires in Arizona, the website said.

Deputy Mayor John Schon asked if the agency provides one-shot training, or if it continues over time.

Orloff said the training is on-going. The goal is to ensure that the responders maintain their involvement and not fade away over time.

“We teach others how to give support,” Orloff said.

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