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Wildfire

Comprehensive Resource Centers For Wildfire Assistance Open In Jackson County

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David Hess

Jackson County has set up a one-stop shop for survivors of recent wildfires who need assistance with a wide variety of needs.

Typically, wildfire survivors who lost their homes have to run all over town to get the help they need. Now, there are one stop shops set up in the Rogue Valley.

The multi-agency recovery center that opened at Medford’s Central High School late last week is an effort to rebuild communities impacted by the wildfires.

John Viall is the director of the Jackson County Emergency Operation Center. He says this new resource center will provide assistance to victims more efficiently.

"Rather than having people run to the fairgrounds for this and run to city hall for that and then try to find out where the insurance provider’s at, put them all in one spot," says Viall. "Make it easier for the people that are impacted by this because the last thing they need right now is more headaches.”

FEMA representatives are at the center to help with federal emergency claims. The Red Cross is there to help with housing, several local insurance companies are available to help people file insurance claims, and a number of other social service organizations are there as well.

Viall says there has been a severe need for centralized resources for wildfire victims.

“The event has such a gigantic impact on people that all aspects of their life are disrupted," says Viall. "Not only do they not have a house, they don’t have clothing. They lost their driver's license. How do you get benefits if you’re on public assistance? All this stuff is destroyed.”

Three satellite centers are open in Shady Cove, Talent and Phoenix. There are Spanish speaking representatives present as well as interpreters at all sites.

The recovery center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be until the need subsides.