District 5080 Disaster Response Team

For more information on our D5080 Disaster Response Team, please contact Dan Crawford at [email protected], 208.277.1029 


Report from Dan Crawford, Disaster Response Team
September 03, 2023 

Hello All,

I wanted to give you an update on volunteer efforts for the Oregon Road Fife as well as the Gray/Medical Lake Fire. Things are progressing now as more homeowners have completed asbestos testing.

Oregon Road Fire:

I traveled to Deer Park to see the damage done by this fire and to establish where volunteers will be mobilizing. The Red Cross has set up a command center for incoming volunteers at Riverside High School. This could change as they are still getting organized.

With the help from Rick Voit from Spokane 21 I am trying to assemble his team of volunteers to work out of the command center at Riverside High. I have converted a personal trailer to a disaster response trailer, although it is only a 12-foot trailer it will work for what we need to secure the tools for the volunteers. I am currently soliciting donations of tools either new or used. This would include shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, gloves, and safety glasses to name a few. Rick is currently traveling on business and will not be back to Spokane until the 15th. He will need some time to assemble his team. FYI: Rick has not fully committed yet, but I had a good conversation with him, and he seems motivated. This will give folks time to have property inspected for asbestos. In the meantime, if I could get a volunteer coordinator set up in Deer Park that would be great. This person would be responsible for screening incoming volunteers but also working with the Red Cross and other NGOs to identify candidates for our services. This would be a nonphysical position but one that requires good organizational skills. Please let me know if you have someone in mind for that and I will have Christina Petit train that person. Also please ask your various clubs for tool donations. If people want to bring their own tools, then I ask that they be marked for identification, so they do not get lost or taken.

 Gray Fire/ Medical Lake:

We are now in the phase of beginning work in Medical Lake on Wednesday the 6th we will have our first team on volunteers on our first house. On Monday I will be dropping the trailer at the Silver Lake Bible Camp. This will be our base of operations for the first 2 weeks as we have several homes in the area to work on. The bible camp has also offered housing to volunteers if needed as well as food.  In addition, I have been able to partner with a Veterans group of chainsaw experts that will be falling trees for homeowners free of charge. This is a major problem as there are trees that need to come down after being burnt so badly. Rotarian volunteers will act as swampers for the tree guys. This means they will transport cut limbs and logs to the road.  We also have a company that is donating transporting damaged vehicles from the property.

 I am now in the process of securing a skid steer and a CDA Rotarian is donating a bobcat. These are small tractors that will help tremendously in cutting down the physical labor of the volunteers. Disaster Aid USA has given me the green light to rent equipment if needed. I always try to be frugal with donated money so If I can get volunteered I will.

As I mentioned before I am headed to Florida on Tuesday. The timing of this couldn’t be worse for me and I feel sick about leaving but I have no choice. We have property in Florida that we are remodeling. We have waited a year to get a contractor so I can’t let it go. I will be busting out flooring and cabinets and doing a lot of the demo work to save money. I will be out until the 20th. Mark Matthews form DAUSA will be taking my place. Mark is a restoration professional and is very experienced at working disasters. Mark arrives on Sunday, and we will begin introductions to all stakeholders on Monday when we drop the trailer. My contact information is widely out there in Medical Lake so I will still be directing things as much as possible while on the road.

Sincerely, Dan Crawford

Report from Dan Crawford, Disaster Response Team
August 29, 2023

Homeowners are being asked or required to have asbestos testing done on there properties. We cannot allow volunteers to exposed to asbestos, so if a home tests positive we will not assist in clean up.

There is a lot of confusion on who is responsible for hauling material to a landfill. In Medical Lake for example there is only one landfill accepting fire debris. In federal disasters FEMA contracts with haulers to do this. To my knowledge this has not been deemed a federal disaster. Not sure if the state will step in. Volunteers do not haul debris to landfills, this can become costly, and funds will be drained fast which would effectively limit our ability to help more people.

I will be setting up in the designated volunteer area today to take names of those needing our assistance. At this time, I cannot be certain of when we will be doing the work because of the items I stated above. If a homeowner has been cleared of asbestos and the landfill issue has been resolved, we can begin. Safety for the volunteers is a top priority.

In addition to the meeting tonight for the Oregon Road fire there is a meeting for the Medical Lake Fire. These meeting are supposed to answer the questions of asbestos and landfill. I was asked to attend the meeting tonight in Medical Lake.

My plan today: Visit Sunrise Rotary Club in CDA and announce what we are doing, raise awareness for volunteers and promote the district fundraising. I will include the most up to date information on both fires. After the meeting I will head to Elk to speak with volunteer representatives and get as much information possible on how we can assist homeowners. I will then head to Medical Lake to set up our
area and speak with homeowners coming to volunteer cluster seeking help. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are helping in this effort. I will then attend the meeting tonight at 7:00pm in Medical Lake. If anyone can make it to the Oregon Road Fire meeting that would be great if not, I can see if one of the volunteers can make it.

Dan Crawford update from Saturday, August 26

Word is getting out that Rotary is providing clean up and recovery services. I have so far received three direct calls from homeowners. I will be meeting with two next week. They are taking me into their property so will have a chance to see the neighborhood damage firsthand. On person I spoke to this morning asked if she could give my name to her neighbors as they are looking for help as well. I don’t think there will be a shortage of work.

 I have been in contact with the City Volunteer Director almost daily. They are still waiting for the green light to go into the Redemption Church staging area. They have currently let the Red Cross and the Salvation Army in but that is all so far. My contact at the Red Cross is collecting names and contact information of homeowners wanting our services.

 So far, we have around 35 confirmed volunteers and are confident we will be at 50 soon. I have enlisted Christina Petit from the Post Falls Club to assist me in coordinating the volunteers. She has been nothing short of amazing and has taken a lot off my plate. We have set up all forms on an electronic basis; this includes waiver forms and volunteer sign up sheets. In addition, we have set up an electronic schedular that will help volunteers decide when and at what times they are committing to. My plan is to rotate volunteers every 3 to 4 days so that we don’t burn anyone out. They can come all day or just for a few hours.