Hurricane Gustav victims will find new one-stop shopping available as they seek assistance from volunteer, state or federal agencies.
Mike Leavitt, the former Utah governor who is secretary of Health and Human Services, announced on Wednesday the new Disaster Case Management demonstration program in Louisiana.
"This program is intended to provide fast, one-stop shopping for those who need help. Our goal is a coordinated system that links disaster victims with a single contact who will help them determine what help they need, who provides it and how to get it," Leavitt said.
Case managers, who will come largely from nongovernmental groups involved in disaster relief, will be able to help victims by creating disaster recovery plans that will help them connect with service providers and resources.
It could help provide services from emergency food and shelter to temporary financial assistance, transportation, legal help, health care, employment and other public assistance.
The program is designed to follow clients throughout the recovery process to ensure they continue to receive the assistance needed.
Daniel Schneider, HHS acting assistant secretary, said, "When disaster strikes, people are in shock and great distress, and they may well not understand where and how to get aid. This program will help them overcome systemic and bureaucratic obstacles that can get in the way."