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Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 7

Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team

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The Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team (BCLTRT) was born out of the ashes of the 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire. The most destructive wildfire in Texas history, the Bastrop County Complex Fire destroyed 1,691 homes. In the four years since the fire, BCLTRT volunteers have cleaned up debris on over 1,400 properties and rebuilt 133 homes for low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals and families. Along with receiving an award of distinction from the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, BCLTRT was also recognized in 2014 for its exemplary efforts by receiving the first ever Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Long-Term Recovery of the Year Award.

Just as BCLTRT was preparing to deactivate, Bastrop County was again hit by disaster during the 2015 Memorial Day floods and tornadoes. BCLTRT jumped into action providing emergency shelter, food and clothing to hundreds of displaced residents. BCLTRT also coordinated the cleanup of 178 homes and helped repair 72 homes.

Before these repairs were complete, the Hidden Pines Fire broke out, destroying 64 Bastrop County homes. BCLTRT responded, providing assistance with immediate needs and cleanup, while also rebuilding 10 homes for low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals and families. By April 30, 2016, BCLTRT had completed repairs and rebuilding for all families and individuals requiring assistance from all three disasters.

However, more flooding occurred on April 19, 2016 and again in May during Memorial Day weekend, leaving no rest for the weary. BCLTRT rose to the challenge, providing emergency shelter along with food and clothing for those displaced by the flooding. To date, BCLTRT has cleaned out approximately 62 homes and is currently in the process of case managing those needing help with repairs.

Four disasters in one year posed a significant challenge for BCLTRT. Such devastation during, in such a short period, exhausts both human and financial resources.

Over the past year, there have been only a very lucky few in the county not directly affected by wildfire or flood. This has made asking for volunteer help or financial assistance difficult. Somehow, we have managed to come together for our neighbors. We've also had a great response from voluntary organizations and donors from outside of our community in past.

With all of our volunteers and donors, BCLTRT has had to look at things differently to meet the requirements of giving as well as how we approached asking for help. The implications for our local volunteers and providers were much different compared to those for people and organizations from outside of Bastrop County who offered assistance.

At this point, we can say our recovery efforts have worked out better than expected. BCLTRT is proud to not only continue to provide case management, emotional and spiritual support to Bastrop County disaster survivors, but also to have assisted with the development and operation of other long-term recovery organizations all over the state of Texas and in several other states across the United States.

More information about Bastrop County recovery efforts here.



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