Thursday, December 10, 2009

California rebuilding long after wildfires

Kate Saavedra in Disaster News Network: San Diego County, CA, residents are still recuperating from widespread wildfires that burned 1,775 homes in Oct. 2007, but efforts are shifting focus to long-term recovery and disaster prevention. “There’s less and less people actually actively working in the (active) disaster now because it’s all about case management and unmet needs at this point,” said Robin Clegg, facilitator for the regional long-term recovery committee. “We’re close to having met our goals as far as assisting families.”

For those whose homes haven’t been repaired, the regional long-term recovery committee works to meet their needs by bringing together organizations with donated dollars to fund rebuilds. Survivors who don’t have other means, like insurance settlements or loans, are considered for assistance. “Probably the largest struggle for families has been the insurance issue,” said Clegg.

In San Diego County, $3 million in donations have gone toward volunteer efforts to rebuild for those who don’t have the money or resources to do it, said Clegg.

The regional community recovery team works with faith-based and secular organizations, including Mennonite Disaster Services, United Methodists, the American Red Cross, Elderhelp, Habitat for Humanity, Jewish Family Services, The San Diego Foundation, The Salvation Army, United Way and others….

August 2009 fires in Pasadena, California, shot by EyeKarma, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License


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