Thursday, May 30, 2024

Disaster leadership group meets in Pateros



PATEROS – Nationwide this year, the number of billion-dollar disaster events have reached record levels with 23 so far, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

From the Lahaina wildfire in Maui to Hurricane Idalia in Florida, the need for rapid  disaster relief is greater than ever. One of the hubs for that help is in Pateros.

Last month, 14 Disaster Leadership Team representatives from points around the nation held a retreat and annual board meeting in Pateros to lay the groundwork for a new association that will strengthen relationships between long-term recovery groups.

The core of the DLT first came together in 2016 in Kansas. That was a year after a pair of Washington State’s two largest wildfires. The 2014 Carlton Complex and the 2015 Okanogan Complex destroyed a combined 560,000 acres leading to the formation of the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG). In 2017 a non-profit was formed.

“Hurricane Harvey was our first official mentorship,” said OCLTRG Executive Director Carlene Anders of the August 2017 Category 4 storm that caused more than 100 deaths and $125 billion in damages across Texas and Louisiana. Anders traveled to flood-ravaged Houston to share her expertise for recovery efforts there.

Anders said last month’s meeting was the first opportunity many DLT members had to meet each other in person.

“I had met quite a few of them because I am the executive director, but a lot of them had not met each other,” Anders said. “This is our office now and it has been for the last five years.”

OCLTRG has contracted with the DLT to handle the team’s administration.

A grant from a national support group helped make the Pateros gathering possible.

“The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) gave us a grant to build capacity and sustainability and continuity of service,” Anders said.

Formed in 2010, the CDP bills itself as the only full-time resource dedicated to helping donors maximize their impact through expert resources, community-driven grantmaking and philanthropic consulting services.

Anders also responded to wildfires earlier this summer in Spokane.

“I was invited by state emergency management and then Spokane County to come over and support the Long-Term Recovery Group over there,” Anders said.

The DLT goal is to form an association that helps long-term recovery groups in different parts of the country connect among themselves. The timeline is to have the elements in place sometime next year with program implementation in 2025.


Disaster Leadership Team Board

The board includes:

• OCLTRG Executive Director Carlene Anders

• Renee White, board president and team member, Joplin, Missouri (tornado).

• Stephanie Brady, board vice president and team member, Joplin, Missouri (tornado).

• Janice Butler, board treasurer and team member, Bastrop, Texas (wildfire, flood, tornado).

• Nino Andaloro, board secretary, Northern Front Range, Colorado (flood).

• Christine Files, board and team member, Balstrop, Texas (wildfire, flood, tornado).

• Sheryl Monette, board and team member, Northern Minnesota (flood).

• Jessica Farmer, board and team member, Central Washington (wildfire).

• Dean Minardi, board and team member, Northern Minnesota (flood).

• Valerie Brown, board and team member, Southern California (wildfire).

• Dante Gliniecki, board member, Gulf Coast (hurricane).

• Mark Langoria, board and team member, Texas Gulf Coast (hurricane).

• Michelle Brewer, team member, Texas Gulf Coast (hurricane).

 • Steve Barbour team member, rural Wyoming (wildfire, flood).



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