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DEMA and UD work together on long-term COVID-19 recovery

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DEMA
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The Delaware Emergency Management Agency is teaming up with the University of Delaware on several projects aimed at long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The partnership is designed  to help Delaware's municipalities as the state transitions from its initial response to COVID-19 and looks toward the future.

 

DEMA’s Natural Hazards supervisor Josh Kelly says his organization is always seeking ways DEMA can support organizations already doing work, and these three projects all support existing programs.

 

One project, called Recover Delaware, focuses on identifying community recovery needs and providing support to local governments.

 

“One of the big issues that we’re seeing at the local level and even at the state level is there’s so many different funding sources that are out there; So there's CARES funding, there’s ARPA funding, there’s FEMA funding, there’s CDC funding,” he said. “It’s very confusing if you’re not an expert or completely focused on understanding the funding picture.”

 

Kelly says another project, called DRC It! is working to make academic research more accessible to emergency management agencies, such as DEMA. 

 

Kelly says DEMA doesn’t usually have the time to sift through all the academic research, so this partnership helps organizations be prepared in the future.

 

“We in the emergency management side don’t have a lot of time or resources or understanding to dive into research studies and projects and things like that,” Kelly said.

 

So UD researchers will boil that research down into animated videos and summaries to help emergency management staff learn better practices.

 

All three programs are expected to run through the end of the year, and Kelly says if they’re successful, future projects and partnerships could come.

 

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.