On December 19th ROWW received and distributed over $150,000 worth of supplies as part of our Phase 1 Response to the West Coast wildfires thanks to an amazing group of Oregonian volunteers, our supporters, our partners at Direct Relief and Lowe’s, and volunteer pilots that organized a 20 plane caravan to transport the nearly 5000 pounds of medical supplies from the Direct Relief warehouse in Santa Barbara.
ROWW volunteers met the incoming flights from Direct Relief at the Eugene airport and organized distribution to multiple hubs throughout Oregon over the next few days. Our team delivered supplies to the Evacuee Distribution Center at the Masonic Lodge in Eugene, Glide Revitalization nonprofit in Glide, the Cal-Ore Life-Flight air ambulance company in Gold Beach, Lane County Public Health Department, and the Living Waters Church in Medford. Inventory included 100,000 KN95 respirators, generators, solar chargers, cots, tarps, gas cans and extension cords, hygiene products, tents, and more.
ROWW’s Oregon response will be broken up into 3 phases over the coming months. As active and threatening fires die down, we will begin providing site-cleaning/clearing supplies and machinery to aid victims with recovery and rebuilding efforts. Our Phase 1 emergency supply delivery and distribution deployment was truly a group of amazing people coming together from all walks of life to help others. If you’d like to get involved with or contribute to our Wildfire response in Oregon please click the blue button below!
Since our initial distribution mission with Direct Relief in September, ROWW identified and made contact with 3 heavily affected communities in the towns of Otis, Blue River, and Medford, Oregon. On the week of November 8th our team conducted recon missions to each location to survey and take notes on how to most effectively help with recovery efforts. We compiled a needs list with community leaders and made stops at Lowe’s to provide each leader with donated supplies to disperse in their area.
Current Update 12/14/20:
Over the weekend ROWW set back out to Otis, Oregon to continue Phase 2 of our relief work. We spent 3 days with a team of skilled volunteers that included firefighters, arborists, a logging crew, and an excavation crew. Our volunteers brought some serious equipment: a D7 dozer, a skid steer, a backhoe, and an acetylene torch. We contributed 480+ hrs helping residents remove debris from their properties. ROWW saved homeowners up to $30k per lot cleared, having cleared over 10 lots total. ROWW fell over 30 dangerous or dead trees, and split the limbs for firewood donations. Our crew then cut large metal pieces from the previous homes/structures with hot saws and acetylene torches. The metal scrap was loaded into recycle bins with the help of heavy machinery (mini-x, skid steer) and hauled off with a dump truck. The remaining ash was bagged up with shovels and placed into proper ash bins to be hauled off as well. After the lots were cleared of all trees, debris & ash, the dozer conducted a lot-scrape with the blade rendering the property ready for utilities to be installed. Doing all this allows families to move back onto their properties in an RV, trailer, tent, etc and begin rebuilding. There are state programs and grants in place to help homeowners affected by disasters but it often only covers a fraction of the cost it takes to make serious improvements. In addition to the site clearing work, we also revisited a community center and donated supplies from our friends at Lowe’s.
ROWW is now in the planning stage to revisit & continue Phase 2 work in the Mckenize/Blue RIver and Medford areas of Oregon. If you’d like to get involved with or contribute to our Wildfire response in Oregon please click the blue button below!