When fires sweep through communities, they have devastating effects. The good news is that American communities have shown resilience in the face of these tragedies.
In the middle of the chaos, communities have found ways to overcome the aftermath. It’s devastating for individuals to lose their homes and valuables. However, they find ways to grieve and cope. Then, victims have rebuilt their properties.
The size of the fire will determine how much action every community member needs to take. Some communities have required help from neighbors outside of the immediate area. Other fires have only affected a few properties.
As individuals start assessing the damage, they can figure out who can volunteer and who needs assistance. Volunteers play an essential role in these situations. They help find shelter for victims, essentials, and salvageable items.
Those with working cell phones can call disaster relief organizations, the local authorities, and federal government agencies.
Let’s take a look at how to help your community after a fire.
Helping your neighbors after a natural disaster requires organization. Everyone must figure out how much their property experienced. Then, they can determine how much help they can provide to others.
Therefore, start helping by gathering volunteers.
Fires can have minds of their own and don’t necessarily take out entire areas. Instead, they travel with the wind and save houses.
Once you have a team of volunteers, start gathering essentials everyone needs, such as food and water. It also helps if volunteers can find first aid items and cleaning tools.
The size of the incident will determine how quickly government assistance arrives in the area.
Ideally, government assistance and disaster relief organizations will provide anything that local volunteers cannot find. Nonetheless, search for clothes and blankets too.
Volunteers must work quickly to help their neighbors during the daytime light. At night, everyone must focus on staying warm and safe.
Thus, volunteers should help victims find shelter.
Some communities open up public spaces, such as community centers for victims. Others will enlist private organizations that own large spaces, including arenas and stadiums, for public use.
If you have trouble finding enough shelters, Hotel Engine offers a list of housing options for fire victims.
Research Assistance Programs
The United States Fire Administration, in conjunction with FEMA, believes that the first 24 hours after a fire are vital for victims. As victims assess the damage, they need to estimate their losses.
Volunteers can help them by researching assistance programs. Moreover, they can help them figure out how much paperwork is necessary to qualify for assistance.
Take Down Information
In the middle of the chaos that fires cause, communities need people who will keep their heads on their shoulders. Help your neighbors by taking down important information.
Write down when the fire started, the fire department that put it out, and the area the fire impacted.
Your neighbors need this information when they file claims with their insurance providers.
Make Phone Calls
Anyone with a charged cell phone can provide aid by calling government aid organizations, local authorities, and insurance companies.
In addition, help your neighbors make phone calls to their loved ones. The goal is to ensure that family members are safe and sound. You can also notify others of the incident.
Making phone calls is another way to find shelter, gather the essentials, and find more volunteers ready to help. It also starts the claims process for those needing to obtain reimbursements from their insurance companies.
Recover Anything Salvageable
Before entering an impacted property, you’ll need clearance from the fire department and other government officials. Once you receive the green light, help your neighbors recover anything they can salvage.
For example, they need their vehicles, clothes, documents, and valuables. It’s also a nice gesture to help them salvage items with sentimental value, such as family heirlooms.
Sometimes fires only delay returning home for a few days. When fires are more devastating, lend your neighbors your shoulder so they can lean on it.
American communities have proven to remain resilient despite adversity, including the aftermath of devastating fires. To help each other, find volunteers. Then, find shelters, the essentials, and recover what’s salvageable as you wait for government assistance to arrive.