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Community prepares for next disaster

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After the recent wildfires south and east of Guthrie it became apparent that there was a need for a consolidation of services and resources so that those affected by tragedy could easily determine where to go for help. Although many organizations and individuals stepped up and eagerly offered help, it became quite confusing to many the victims and caused them to spend way too much time searching through resources to get their needs met.

Guthrie FireIn addition to the losses that our neighbors had already suffered, we became aware that there were outside entities trying to prey on and take advantage of them, and the community. Although they were called out right away, it was further proof that we needed to have a plan in place to help and protect the survivors.

A group was formed in the weeks after the fires in association with the Oklahoma VOAD – Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, which is a state recognized cooperative of organizations that assist in Long Term Recovery efforts after disasters. Thus, the Logan County Long Term Recovery Group was formed and has been meeting weekly to help address the needs of the fire victims. The mission of the Logan County Long Term Recovery Group is to provide services to individuals and families affected by disaster in the Logan County community. Our goal is to ensure the right resources get to the right people at the right time without duplication of resources or efforts. Services will be provided regardless of the individual’s race, creed, color, gender, disability, or religious preference.

If you should find yourself a part of a disaster, large or small, there is a protocol in place that you should know to follow. The agencies to contact, or who will be in contact with you, in chronological order are:

1. American Red Cross –

* the first responding organization

* they will provide immediate relief

* they will refer you to long term recovery agencies

2. Catholic Charities –

* will create a case

* will assess needs

* will refer survivor to community resources

If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Mary Coffin, please call 405-282-1947 or info@guthrieok.com

Categories: Community, Emergency, News
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