- Basic Requirements
- Levels of Access
- Recovery Access
- Coordination Access
- Situational Awareness/ PDA Access
- Public Access
- Government Access
- Establishing Reputability
- The Local Coordinator
In order to participate in Crisis Cleanup, an organization must:
- Have a physical presence in the area ("boots on the ground" or a call center)
- Interact directly with survivors
- Perform property assessments or remediation (assessments, debris removal, muck-outs, rebuilding, etc.)
- Be a reputable organization (Incorporation is not always necessary, but individuals may not join independently).
Crisis Cleanup has a bias for inclusion—that is, any organization that meets all four requirements should be allowed to participate, absent some extenuating or unforeseen circumstance.
For full access, all four elements are required, which means that not every organization will be allowed to participate. For example, the American Red Cross and county offices of emergency management (OEM) are certainly reputable, and always has a physical presence in the area, but do not usually perform the type of cleanup work that Crisis Cleanup facilitates; therefore, the Red Cross and OEM would typically have lesser access, unless they meet all requirements. Similar restrictions apply to local governments, unless they play a direct assessment or active coordination role in disaster recovery.
Non-VOAD and spontaneous grassroots organizations that can demonstrate reputability are encouraged to join Crisis Cleanup.
Levels of Access
Crisis Cleanup helps organizations that interact directly with survivors, as they fix damaged property after a disaster. Crisis Cleanup is designed to be used by people who carry shovels and wear boots, not suits. Making sure that the system remains useful to workers and team leaders on the ground, as well as maintaining the trust and respect of the participating organizations are the project's top priorities.
As a side-effect of normal usage, Crisis Cleanup becomes a repository of valuable data to other relief and government agencies. Our goal is to respect the privacy of clients while while sharing de-identified disaster information with as many organizations as possible, to promote the public welfare and a speedy recovery efforts. To that end, in the future (BUT NOT CURRENTLY), Crisis Cleanup will permit multiple levels of access to organizations that meet some (but not all) of the basic requirements above.
Crisis Cleanup adopts the Federal Government's access policy to the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN). Federal, State and Local governments may have access to Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) information to promote general situational awareness, but does not provide direct access to client identifying information.
Most government entities do not directly interact with disaster survivors and remediate private property. To promote survivor confidentiality and preserve the trust of participating organizations, government entities may participate by invitation only, and only with Situational Awareness Access (when that access becomes available).
If a government entity needs detailed survivor information, they may request it directly from recovery organizations. Government entities seeking exceptions to this policy should first get buy-in from relief organizations on the ground, and approval by the Local Coordinator.
Note to the occasional aggressive OEM: Please do not waste your time and ours by threatening, bullying, or demanding unfettered access to Crisis Cleanup. We don't feel that the data is ours to give to you, and bullying won't help your case. If you need more data, don't waste your time trying to convince us; talk to your local VOADs and relief organizations. They are authorized to release any information they deem appropriate.
The most common, and preferred method of establishing reputability is to be a member of National VOAD, a state VOAD, or local COAD, or obtain a recommendation from a VOAD member or government agency. Organizations without VOAD links that can demonstrate a track record of post-disaster property remediation are also considered reputable. In some instances, upstart or grassroots organizations provide substantial assistance to disaster survivors, and cannot always establish working relationships with VOAD members in the "heat of battle." In those rare circumstances where a recommendation is not possible, grassroots organizations may establish reputability by demonstrating that they do quality work, typically through interviews with people they have assisted or demonstrating a track record of disaster response. Recommendations are always preferred.
The Local Coordinator
Each incident has one or more Local Coordinators, or a local agency that administers the Crisis Cleanup system for that incident. With vital field insight, the Local Coordinator is responsible for vetting and approving new organizations. The Local Coordinator doesn’t necessarily have veto rights, but will help determine whether each organization meets the criteria above. Each Local Coordinator will receive special training, and should be prepared to devote 2-5 hours per day to manage the Crisis Cleanup system at the height of cleanup efforts, and 2-5 hours per week during long term recovery.
The Local Coordinator is not "in charge" of the disaster, nor the participating organizations. The Local Coordinator simply vets new organizations. The Local Coordinator does not need to do anything else; there is no official incident information portal to maintain, no work orders to assign, no oversight functions, and no reports to file.
Policy Effective: November 1, 2013. Last Updated: June 4, 2014 (Clarified that Red Cross and local governments may have full access if they meet all requirements); May 8, 2014 (Clarified Reputability may be established by establishing a track record; call centers servicing an affected area satisfy the physical presence requirement); February 6, 2015 (Clarified role of Local Coordinator by changing name from "Local Admin" to "Local Coordinator"); November 24, 2015 (Clarified Local Coordinator's time commitments diminish during long term recovery).