We routinely provide you with information about alternative energy solutions to keep our communities clean and healthy. Today, however, we want to provide you with assistance in dealing with the wildfires that have impacted many of the communities in our region.
Fires have swept through the Rogue Valley leaving cities in ruin, families devastated, and many of our local businesses in shambles. Once the fires are contained, the hard work of clean up and recovery will begin. Here are a few tips from the Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition to help you get started on recovery, as well as important resources for victims and volunteers.
- People first. While it’s easy to see damage to our surroundings, it can be difficult to identify the distress, grief, and sorrow victims of the fire hold—especially days, weeks, and months after a significant loss. Make sure to check in on family and friends routinely and connect them to health professionals and grief counselors when needed. If you are an employer, find out if you have an Employer Assistance Program in place with your company and contact them to begin deploying resources to your team.
- Communicate your safety to others. As the news shares stories of raging fires and shows video footage of communities leveled to the ground, make sure you let your family and friends know where you are, your status, how you can be reached, and how they can best help you.
- Assessing damage to your home. Only after you’ve been given an official “A-OK” from authorities should you return to your home. Bring a camera and take pictures or video footage. Carefully look for structural damage as you enter such as downed power lines, damaged gas lines, cracks, and sagging ceilings. Do not force open jammed doors as they may be holding up parts of the structure. If in doubt, do not enter the home.
- Call your insurance agent. Discuss your situation with your insurance agent. Your insurance company likely has restoration-construction companies on contract to assess the damage and help you get back on your feet again. Depending on your specific insurance plan, you may also be eligible for reimbursement for food and lodging costs while you are displaced from your home.
- Remember to eat and rest. After a traumatic event, it can be easy to go into a work-focus mode. Take breaks, make sure you are drinking water, and stick to a regular meal plan. You will have time to recover from the physical disaster while allowing your own body to recover as well.
Access these resources to receive or provide additional assistance:
Access the Rogue Valley Preparedness and Recovery Hub to ask for help or to donate product or time. This site is organized by a number of local community organizations including the United Way of Jackson County, Ashland CERT, local Salvation Army organizations, and many others.
The American Red Cross has a number of disaster relief and recovery guides available online to help you sort through recovery processes.
Want to learn more about what we do to help our communities? Come visit us at www.roguevalleycleancities.org. Together, we can keep our communities clean for generations to come! The Rogue Valley Clean Cities’ mission is to promote and educate on alternate fuels, seek to decrease dependency on petroleum, and promote clean air and water in the Rogue Valley via alternate fuels. Contact us today for more information!