October 24, 2017

Week three: Oct. 9-15, 2017 in Port Aransas, Rockport and Corpus Christi, Texas

The SERTs began in Port Aransas and made contact with the city planners and volunteers working, for a Saturday morning class. They provided a brief training to demonstrate the material they will provide. They also connected with a representative from FEMA and scheduled training with about 12 people from the organization. Swan and Potter inquired about a vaccination clinic, contacted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for additional training materials, and reached out to USW District 13 Director Ruben Garza to alert him of their arrival.

On Tuesday the SERTs met with a group of about 12 people at the Rockport-Fulton volunteer group center and discussed health and safety training, including mold remediation, and PPE. They went into the affected area, spoke to 24 different homeowners and workers in the area, distributing training materials. After reaching out to the locals, Swan and Potter held a meeting with Gail Chanpong of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health(NIOSH) to pass tips on to the group with her. They will meet with the group this afternoon and continue their work and outreach.

On Wednesday John Scardella, TMC program administrator, also connected with Lacy Wolf of the Texas AFL-CIO to schedule training for the union insulators and other AFL-CIO affiliates.

The morning of Thursday, Oct. 12, Swan went to a local convenience store, which was serving as the gathering location for workers and local residents. They held a training session and provided PPE handouts to 180 people, in groups of five to 10. Then they proceeded into the neighborhood making 70 more contacts, and connecting with the FEMA disaster center leaving the contact information of Scot Rudolph from NIEHS so training could be provided to volunteers and homeowners. More conversations were held and contacts given out so the community could obtain training after listening to Swan convey the hazards and information about mold.

FRIDAY Swan set out for the same gas station as the previous day, spoke to and equipped another 80 people including both workers and homeowners. “I found that mold cleanup is coming to the forefront,” Swan said. “Prior to today most people we encountered were working on roofs and cleaning up debris.”

Next, Swan stopped at a volunteer coordination center, where they were expecting over 80 people from Wisconsin on Saturday, and provided them with the remaining books on mold remediation. He also conducted an overview of the material for a dozen supervisors, handing out PPE. These folks are planning to schedule community and volunteer training with Scot. Swan handed out the rest of the PPE to a few homeowners and made sure they were given what they needed to complete their clean-up tasks. He directly reached 96 people, but impacted about 120 altogether.

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