SALEM, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs has assigned State Veteran Service Officers to all of the Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) /Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). These representatives are available to veterans who suffered damage, injury or loss of work due to the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred Dec. 1 - 17.
DRCs are currently open in Vernonia, Seaside, Tillamook, and St. Helens.? Disaster affected individuals can visit any DRC to talk to representatives of FEMA, the State, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Some DRCs may also have representatives of voluntary agencies.
"Though is it not mandatory to visit a DRC, sometimes it is nice to talk to someone face-to-face," said State Coordinating Officer Abby Kershaw. "Veterans' especially, should take advantage of the services offered, they deserve it."
There are two phases of veteran's assistance. Phase one is direct financial aid based on need.? This aid may come in the form of cash or a Fred Meyer gift card in the amount of $100, $250, or $500.? Fred Meyer, a northwest company, offers pharmacy, food, household items, home repair items, and just about anything anyone could need in one place.? Fred Meyer stores are conveniently located to most of the communities.
Phase two is called "Operation Recovery". Following an assessment of the storm's impact on a veteran, the individual and their family may be matched up with one of the many veterans' organizations, posts, chapters, or detachments in Oregon.? That group will meet the long-term needs of the veteran so he or she can recovery fully from the devastating effects of the disaster.?
Recovery may take months or even years, but the Veterans' organizations are determined to help their own. Those interested in more information should visit one of the DRCs and tell the Veteran's specialist that they need assistance to recover.?
"This is veterans helping veterans," said Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Jim Willis. "We know that veterans are used to taking care of themselves, but we encourage them to take advantage of these services that were created especially for them."?
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.