Sunday, August 23, 2015

Do NOT Send Directly to Okanogan County!

Normally, I say this at the beginning of my request for collections, but it slipped my mind until someone told me they heard on the radio that Okanogan County, does not want stuff shipped to them and that is 100% correct!  DO NOT send quilts directly to Okanogan County.

I know you want to help and somehow make it easier on me or cut out the middle, but honestly they have no place to begin to store hundreds or even thousands of boxes of stuff and trust me, during Oso tragedy, I was given a tour of what stuff gets sent and sometimes it is not good, it is as if someone said, 'oh wait, let me check my trash can!'

Please understand that I worked in the field of emergency communications for over thirteen years as a 911 operator, trainer and as a Civilian Emergency Response Team member. I know how important it is to wait and let things go back to whatever the new normal will be before I go rushing up there to drop off quilts.

The area is still on fire, many fires, many acres burned, fire fighters have died, homes have been lost, hotshot crews flew in from New Zealand and Australia to help put these fires out, it is a very dangerous place to be right now. Shipping boxes now could bring more dangers as they could be placed in an area that could burn.

I have connections in the area. I have been in contact with those that help others and they have told me they need quilts, but they do not know how many they will need as the fires are still burning.

My contact told me they are working closely with the area around Lake Chelan that has been burned and is burning and it will take awhile for them to get back to me on exact numbers needed, but I do know we will need to have many on hand when they ask us to bring them up.

I am patient and that is why I gave a deadline for end of September to mid October, hoping to have many to deliver by then and to be given the okay to travel to the area.

Please understand this is huge. Homes have been lost, lives have been lost, animals have been lost, warehouses and businesses have been lost and this isn't Seattle, Chicago, Phoenix or even Portland where they can set up shop and start over again. This is a sparsely populated area where there isn't any extra places to store things.

That is why, I ask early to begin our collections and then I wait patiently to be invited to come and drop off what we have. I work closely with those that know to set up a date and time for drop off and it has been working this way since Hurricane Katrina ten years ago.

I hope this helps you to understand more how I operate!

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