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COVER: Volunteers help clean flood debris on June 5 on property along Hidden Valley Road near the Blanco River in western Hays County. PHOTO by JOCELYN AUGUSTINO

FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS

This just in from Hays County spokesperson Laureen Chernow:

Four counties – Blanco, Caldwell, Guadalupe and Hays – have joined forces to coordinate the long-term recovery efforts from the Memorial Weekend flood and storms in conjunction with their affected cities. The recovery is expected to take several years.

flood of 2015 icon blue“With the formation of the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (BR3T) we can address our common interests in helping to ensure our citizens have their long-term needs met as we rebuild our lives and communities,” Dan Kramer, Emergency Management Program Specialist for Guadalupe County Office of Emergency Management and Fire Marshal, said. The BR3T organization is seeking incorporation as a 501(c)3 non-profit.

Kramer, who is serving as interim chair of the BR3T Board, said, “The goal of the Board is to have local resident volunteers from our counties be the major component of the committees we’ve developed to serve the survivors.” He noted that the formation of the committees is considered a best practice following a major disaster.

Initial committees include Donations, Volunteers, Rebuilding, Emotional/Spiritual and Public Information, as well as Case Management, which will be managed by World Renew Disaster Response Services of Grand Rapids, Michigan. World Renew offers its free expertise in recovery case management services globally to conduct needs assessments for survivors of disasters. Local volunteers are expected to be an integral part of all the committees.

“We anticipate that our committees will be fully functional within the next few weeks and we will ultimately have a presence via multiple social media sites as well our administrative office at 801 W. MLK in San Marcos,” Kramer said. Any resident of the four affected counties who is interested in volunteering for a committee is encouraged to find out more by contacting blancoriverregional@gmail.com.

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