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Salvation Army aids landslide victims

By Elizabeth Daley, Bay City News Service

March 2, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Salvation Army spokeswoman Joye Storey said Thrusday the landslide in San Francisco's affluent North Beach area proves that anyone can be impacted by natural disaster.

"I think it is just human nature to think it would ever happen to you, and when you are not faced with having to deal with inefficiencies on a daily basis, you never think that it might happen, or that if it does, you will have the financial resources to deal with it. Then you have something like this that is so bizarre, and it happens, and it puts it all in perspective that we are all alike," Storey said.

The Salvation Army has been providing lunch and dinner since Wednesday for victims at their main dining hall in the South of Market District, as well as at the Chinatown Community Center. About 120 residents were displaced by the slide.

"With this particular incident people have not needed clothing or household items it's primarily shelter and for some long term housing and food," said Storey.

"As far as resilience they may have more resources, but as far as the emotional side of it, it's the same. All the processes are the same. If you have more resources finding a hotel room isn't as hard, but other things are just as difficult, such as trying to hold down a job, said Storey.

American Red Cross spokesman Woody Baker-Cohn said some of the homes have "spectacular views, I can see the draw," he said, but also questioned the logic of building upon such unstable ground.

Though most landslide victims have found other accommodations, Baker-Cohn said on Wednesday night, about 10 people stayed in a shelter set up by the American Red Cross.

Baker-Cohn said the Bay Area will experience a significant earthquake in the near future and residents should keep extra food and medication handy.

"You need to have your documents in order to deal with things," Storey said, focusing on the more technical aspects of disaster preparedness.

According to Baker-Cohn, the Red Cross is meeting with affected residents to determine individual needs and placing residents in hotels today.

Storey said meal service is expected to continue throughout the week, "We are working with the Red Cross to assess the situation and determine how long we will provide the meals.

Our response will be determined by what we find out from other agencies," she said.

Storey said if the residents face further long-term problems, human service agencies would employ an integrated case management system called the Coordinated Assistance Network to manage their cases.

The system was developed after Sept. 11 2001, so that disaster victims wouldn't have to go through the trauma and hassle of repeating their story and showing all of their documents to different agencies, Storey said.

"People are already in a severe mode of crisis, and to have to relive that is difficult, " said Storey.

According to Storey, San Francisco is one of the "pilot cities" for this program.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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