Watershed: Service in the Wake of Disaster

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AuthorHouse, Nov 17, 2009 - Religion - 416 pages
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Watershed: Service in the Wake of Disaster was written with the help of many individuals who have the same goal of describing how Indiana was able to recover from devastating 2008 flooding and tornadoes. With three presidentially declared disasters, nearly every county in the state of Indiana was directly affected. A goal for the book is to help other communities prepare for and recover from disaster. Bartholomew County was not prepared for the flood. The majority of Watershed focuses on Columbus as a case study for coping with disaster without the benefit of a pre-established response and recovery plan. Columbus has learned and will be prepared for future disaster situations. The key learning from the flood recovery and improvements to our local community are also discussed.

After failing to find available resources on the subject of local disaster recovery, I felt God call me to write Watershed. I was at a unique place in my life because my employer, Columbus Regional Hospital, was closed for four months due to the flood and allowed me to pursue my passion of flood recovery during that time. The research from the book includes extensive coverage from the Columbus newspaper The Republic, minutes that I took as Secretary of the Bartholomew County Long Term Flood Recovery Team, and over 40 recorded interviews. I interviewed flood-affected individuals, leaders of nonprofit agencies, and members of the Indiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (INVOAD).

The book highlights 17 nonprofit leaders whose organizations played a key role in recovering from the 2008 disasters. From the proceeds of Watershed, I will donate 90% of the net profits to these organizations. The 17 essays in the book add variety and depth to a disaster recovery that requires more than one perspective to accurately convey the complexity of the experience.

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About the author (2009)

Among other things, Eric is a father of two children and a volunteer. In 2002, he graduated from the Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP) at Indiana University with a BA in History.  After five years in banking, he joined Columbus Regional Hospital on December 26, 2007.  Six short months later, the hospital assigned him to work at the United Way of Bartholomew County.  His assignment was to help the community recover from the most devastating natural disaster in the history of Columbus, Indiana. 

Eric’s initial recovery roles were as the Secretary of the Bartholomew County Long Term Flood Recovery Team and as a case manager for the same organization.  Later in his disaster recovery experience, he joined a Six Sigma team that benchmarked the flood recovery efforts of other counties across Indiana.  Through these learning experiences and the hundreds of flood client stories he heard, Eric decided to write an account of the Flood of 2008.

Since finishing the book, Eric has begun working with community and state leaders to form a Community Organization Active in Disaster in Bartholomew County. 

Eric enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in August 2009.  The focus of his education is on Social Entrepreneurship.  Eric hopes his first social entrepreneurship endeavor, The Watershed Foundation, is a success. 

On September 17, 2009 Eric founded The Watershed Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on making the ideas described in Watershed: Service in the Wake of Disaster  become a reality for Columbus and other communities across the country. 

To contact the author, please email watershedfoundation@gmail.com or visit  www.watershedbook.com.

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