Climbing the ladder of recovery
For survivors of devastating disasters, recovery can be a daunting process. There are many agencies and resources available to help, but just knowing who offers what can be difficult. We’ve found the metaphor of climbing a ladder to be helpful. You start at the bottom and work your way up, one rung at a time. Here are some helpful groups and resources to begin climbing those first steps towards recovery:
o The Long–Term Recovery Group. Each of the fire-affected communities (Methow Valley, Omak-Okanogan, Oroville-Tonasket, and Pateros-Brewster) has created Long Term Recovery Organizations (LTROs) to assist residents in recovery. The Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) includes representatives from each of the local LTROs and coordinates assignment of volunteers for assistance with everything from site clean-up and debris removal, to fence repair, to new home construction for those who meet the criteria and have insufficient resources to rebuild on their own.
o Unmet Needs Roundtable. If you have “unmet needs” that insurance or other resources cannot fill, your Disaster Case Manager may recommend that you receive assistance from the Unmet Needs Roundtable. Multiple organizations across our region received funds to support survivors directly; the Roundtable offers a trusted framework through which these funds can be distributed equitably and without duplication to clients in need. Your Disaster Case Manager will present your needs and advocate for funding at the Roundtable.
o US Small Business Admin (SBA). The SBA has low-interest loans available to assist businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. https://www.sba.gov/content/apply-disaster-loan
o Meet with a Disaster Case Manager. These disaster-trained individuals will refer you to available resources, assist you in developing a personalized recovery plan, and represent you at the Unmet Needs Roundtable and, if you meet the criteria, recommend you for new home consideration.
o Insurance: If you have insurance, you must notify them of your losses and apply for reimbursement.
o Start here: voluntary agencies like the Red Cross and the various local distribution centers quickly mobilize to provide for immediate needs like food, clothing and shelter.