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Families in Disaster Recovery: Coordinating Support at the Installation Level

Wed March 17th: 11:00 am-12:30 pm EDT

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A large red push button with the words "Disaster Recovery" written by it.

About this Session

This interactive panel presentation provides a general overview of Red Cross services as they relate to individuals, families, and communities in hazard and disaster readiness and action.  Special focus will be given to military families and communities.  Extension educators as well as military service providers will find this panel discussion helpful as they work with military families.

The session provides information regarding: 1) relevant Red Cross programs, structures, and resources, 2) relationship management and community resilience between military installations and surrounding communities, 3) the Red Cross’ role as trusted communication link among military families in times of crisis, 4) Red Cross programming focusing on hazard mitigation and disaster preparationand 5) recovery resources for military families, many of whom live off-base. 

Register for this Session


Image of Jessie Kozel Jessica Kozel
Disaster Program Manager
American Red Cross Central Appalachian Region 

Jessie Kozel is a Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross of the Central  Appalachia Region. She has over 10 years of experience with the organization. Jessie’s  emergency management career started in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Today, she is responsible for facilitating all  Red Cross responses for 18 counties, ensuring that preparedness and mitigation plans are  established. Jessie coordinates involvement in exercises and meetings with various agencies  and works through multiple county Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) to ensure that all  needs have been addressed and will be met. Jessie participates and serves as a Subject Matter  Expert in developing emergency plans for other private sector organizations and is committed to  continuing her education and career in Emergency Management. In her spare time, she enjoys  kayaking, hiking and spending time outdoors.


Imge of Ed HelphinstineEd Helphinstine
Regional Manager
Red Cross Services to Armed Forces

Ed Helphinstine is the Service to the Armed Forces and International Services Manager for the Central Appalachian Region of the American Red Cross. He is a results-oriented professional with nearly 30 years of experience leading and managing complex and diverse teams. Ed has been with the American Red Cross for five years, beginning his career with the Red Cross as a Disaster Program Manager. In his current role, he ensures that the needs of service members, veterans and their families are met with compassion in a geographic region of 77 counties.  He is a former US Army Officer and has extensive experience and a proven record of successfully leading, building and training teams in austere environments. This experience includes training and mentoring the leadership of the Afghan Special Operations Division Intelligence Battalion, managing a multi-million-dollar overseas counternarcotics program and directing all Intelligence activities for Special Forces in Afghanistan.  In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.


Christopher Plein, Ph.D.
MFLN Military Caregiving Concentration

Continuing Education (CE) Credit

  • Social Work, LPC, LMFT: Programming approval for 1.5 CE credits will be obtained for Social Work, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists from the University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Check with your state licensing agency for reciprocity and/or credit approval if licensed for other professions or in one of the following states: CO, FL, HI, IA, KS, KY, MI, NY, ND, OH, OK
  • Case Manager: This program has been submitted to the Commission for Case Manager Certification for approval to provide board certified case managers with 1.5 clock hours.
  • Board Certified Patient Advocates: This program has been pre-approved by The Patient Advocate Certification Board to provide continuing education credit to Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA). The course has been approved for a total of 1.5 CE contact hour, of which 0.0 are in the area of Ethics.
  • Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE):  This program has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) for 1.5 CE credit for CFLE.
  • Early Intervention:  This session offers CE credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois for providers in Illinois. To learn more about EITP, go to https://eitp.education.illinois.edu/
  • Certificates of completion are available for providers interested in documenting their training activities.

Session Materials

Session Flyer (PDF)

This session is part of the 2021 Military Family Readiness Academy series entitled Disaster and Hazard Readiness in Action. Participants can choose from a range of sessions that will prepare providers to support the readiness and wellbeing of military families during disasters and hazards in areas such as caregiving, children and family needs, nutrition, and finances.

Visit the Series Homepage

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