As the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group (OCLTRG) moves into resiliency and preparedness, it is educating people about Firewise practices — using fire-proof building materials, screening vents, and creating an area around a home that will be resistant to fire. Through their Green Again campaign, the organization has distributed native fire-resistant plants to fire survivors to landscape their new homes.
OCLTRG has held half-a-dozen Fire Strong workshops in conjunction with the American Red Cross to help communities become more resilient to fire.
And while the long-term recovery group is looking ahead to preparedness, it is conducting interviews to be sure all the stories of people affected by the fires aren’t lost.
The group is also compiling information about the experiences of everyone in this area with homeowners’ insurance. That could include insurance companies that were responsive and helpful after a loss, to those that canceled policies simply because someone lives in a fire-prone area. Anyone can access the survey online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/OCLTRG.
Through the end of July, they’re distributing free reflective address signs to make it easy for first responders to find a house (as long as supplies last). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Smoke and Reflections” is the group’s new exhibit about the fires and resiliency. It will be on view in Pateros this summer and is designed to be mobile so it can travel to communities around the state.