USA: Long term recovery teams anticipate the needs of wildfire survivors

Release Number: 1810-013

PASADENA, Calif. -- A Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) comprised of federal, state, local and private nonprofit agencies has formed to address the needs of wildfire survivors in Los Angeles County. Among the committee's concerns is the loss of durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers, experienced by many seniors impacted by the Sayre wildfire, LTRC officials said.

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a special needs coordinator working on the durable medical equipment losses and other issues faced by disaster survivors," said Mark Neveau, federal coordinating officer.

The LTRCs include representatives from voluntary nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations and community organizations. As they form, the committees may receive guidance from FEMA, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) and national-level voluntary agencies. After local, state and federal disaster recovery organizations have completed their missions, the LTRC steps in and may be able to assist those still in need.

"Each disaster-affected community takes its own unique approach in structuring its LTRC, but the recovery goals are much the same," said State Coordinating Officer Tom Maruyama. "The LTRC may serve as a clearinghouse and point of contact for volunteer efforts."

The Los Angeles LTRC will be co-chaired by a representative from the Sylmar Community Council and Catholic Charities. Some of the private-nonprofit agencies currently participating include: United Way, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Chamber of Commerce, Clayton Homes that promotes low-interest loans, the Tzu Chi Foundation, the Neighborhood Legal Services, World Vision, Community Interfaith, Catholic Charities, Operation Hope, St. Didacus Church, and County Medical Center.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.