Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) to Open Wednesday
Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Sep 17, 2013
Suzanne Bassinger, Recovery Manager, (970) 498-7148
Larimer County is still in the flood response and recovery mode, however short and long term recovery efforts are being quickly organized. Larimer County flood survivors, residents and media are encouraged to check the Larimer County Flood 2013 Relief and Recovery website at www.larimer.org for frequent updates.
The Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) will provide a full one-stop service center for survivors of the flooding in Larimer County. Full services will be available Wednesday, September 18th. Hours of operation will be 8am to 6 pm. It is planned to be open for at least 4 weeks. It is located at 815 14th Street SW, Building B in Loveland. Weekend hours may vary. Larimer County Recovery Manager Suzanne Bassinger said the City of Loveland has been instrumental in the fast start-up and obtained use of the former Hewlett-Packard building very quickly. The building’s electrical, internet and phone capacities were upgraded and more than twenty work stations installed in the last 48 hours. Larimer County Recovery Manager Suzanne Bassinger said “Unfortunately, we’ve done this before (referring to High Park Fire). Those difficult experiences are helping now. However, we have not dealt with a disaster of this scope and scale before.”
Services and organizations that will be available to all flood survivors at the Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) include: Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, many County departments, insurance representatives, and FEMA registration. A play area will be available for children. Shuttle service from the Fort Collins evacuation shelters is being organized.
A donation receiving and distribution center is set up and operational at the same location, but in Building D. The center, managed by the Seventh Day Adventists, is receiving donations from 7 am – 7 pm. Distribution hours are 10am-6 pm. Survivors are asked to check in at the DAC before proceeding to the distribution center. Available items will include all household and personal items, as well as food. A second distribution center is also operating out of Timberline Church in Fort Collins.
The County worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to clear some bureaucratic hurdles with unusual speed. Before FEMA can even collect information from people who might be eligible for federal financial disaster aid, the President must sign a formal declaration. Usually the Declaration is not made until fairly detailed damage assessments are complete - homes checked, car damage inventoried, and other time-consuming work. The extent of the damage from flooding in Larimer County is so obvious that the Declaration was made sooner. The federal Declaration of Individual Assistance was finalized on Sunday at 4 p.m., as was a partial Public Assistance declaration. The latter frees up some money for initial clean-up and debris removal, and emergency protective measures.
FEMA will be available to register flood survivors for limited grant and loan programs. FEMA’s programs are complex therefore survivors are urged to visit FEMA representatives at the DAC to determine available benefits, including possibilities such as payment for semi-permanent lodging. No FEMA money or services are available until the registration process is complete. See the Larimer County website (www.larimer.org
) to find out how to register in person, by phone or online.
Assistant County Manager Neil Gluckman said “It is important for flood survivors to know that the County is here for the long run. We know it will be a long process and that we will be working on it for a long time.”