Trained caseworkers helped people create a one-stop shop for personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate assistance for their specific needs such as housing information, groceries, clothing, medicine, household items to clean up and even apply for financial assistance.
"Any families affected by the wildfires are invited to talk to all the agencies at one time to prevent them from having to go from agency to agency," said
The same center and resources will open again on Tuesday in
More than 12,000 families were evacuated last week from eight counties in
Some people visited the multi-agency center on Sunday, Nicklaus said, but didn't register.
"They didn't want to register or want assistance," she said. "That was OK. But they got information."
From rakes and shovels to apples and snacks, the volunteers Sunday tried to provide help to people.
Pamphlets were available offering tips for those who might be suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, detailing common reactions and discussing how the wildfires could affect family relationships.
One booth offered help with smoke alarms.
Another offered tetanus shots.
"Our goal is to capture information from people who are needing some recovery assistance," said
"I work with the health department in emergency preparedness," Ghere said. "But I am also on the Kansas Incident Management Team. I was activated at
"I called my family and told them to get your stuff and get out and go to my brother's place. We were fortunate. We had animals by themselves for a few days, but we were not affected by the fire."
Nicklaus said the evacuation areas were large and many families were affected. The
"For a lot of the families, all they have left is what they left their homes with, and that may literally be the clothes on their backs," Ghere said. "These organizations have come together to help people start over -- whether they need clothes, help with debris removal or had damages to the outbuildings and homes.
"The beauty of living in a place like
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