We know many students, families, and staff have been evacuated and many have suffered devastating and traumatic losses. Below is a list of resources that may offer some assistance to those in need, including some tips on taking care of yourself and your mental well-being, and some great reading resources for parents. Additionally, we are ready and able to help support our area school districts that have been impacted by the wildfires.
General Fire Information
Wildfire.oregon.gov has several resources available including:
- County News/Alerts
- Emergency Lodging
- Fire Maps
- Road Conditions/Closures
- Air Quality
- Apply for Wildfire Damage Housing Relief
AirNow.gov will show you the current air quality in your area.
Red Cross Safe & Well Registry
- 211 Info Contact Center staff are able to assist callers who are unable to register themselves to sign up for the Red Cross registry. Community members who need assistance signing up can contact 211. During times of disaster, there may be long wait times.
- CALL: 211 or 1-866-698-6155 (Free language interpreters available by phone; Phone hours: 24/7)
- TTY: dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155
- TEXT: your zip code to 898211 (TXT211) (text available English and Spanish; Text hours: 9am-5pm)
- EMAIL: email@example.com (email available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin)
Oregon Human Development Corporation (OHDC) is offering assistance with shelter, food, and other support services.
FEMA is encouraging Oregon residents affected by wildfires to register for disaster assistance. Learn more: Disaster Assistance Registration Flyer, Fact Sheet for Oregonians Affected by Wildfires. FEMA also has Disaster FAQ in Spanish. Register at DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 800-621-3362.
Oregon.gov offers Advice for Returning to a Home that Survived a Wildfire and How to Safely Manage Ash and Debris from Burned Buildings if your home was burned by a wildfire)
Community Resources Document has a variety of local and national resources for people affected by the wildfires. The latest revision was today, and future updates will be reflected in the same location.
- English: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le3303.pdf
- Arabic: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/la3303.pdf
- Simplified Chinese: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/ln3303.pdf
- Traditional Chinese: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/l43303.pdf
- Marshallese: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/l333303.pdf
- Russian: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/lr3303.pdf
- Spanish: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/ls3303.pdf
- Vietnamese: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/lv3303.pdf
List of Local Temporary Shelters
Oregon Housing and Community Services may have housing assistance who have lost their home and are under 200% FPL. There is up to $7000 potentially available if funding is authorized. Sign up for more information.
Red Cross Shelter Locations
Family Promise of the Mid-Willamette Valley may be able to provide a one-time emergency rental assistance. Please call 503-370-9752.
The Oregon Law Center has provided Information for Renters (English / Spanish), sample letters (English /Spanish) to use when communicating with your landlord or housing caseworker, and how to obtain your ID if it was lost in the fires (English / Spanish). Legal aid offices around the state represent low-income individuals on a range of legal issues, including housing, employee rights, and family law. Contact your local office to learn more.
HOME Youth Services - Youth ages 11-18 can access a variety of resources including sleeping bags, etc. at The Drop In Shelter at 625 Union Street NE in Salem, open from 1-6 every day.
Many churches have opened as shelter locations as well as many other parking lots for extra vehicles, etc.
Marion County Specific Resources
Marion County Evacuation Zones
Public Alert Notifications from Marion County
Disaster Helplines & Additional Resources
Lines for Life has recently launched a COVID-19 Emotional Support Line that is also being tapped to receive calls regarding the wildfires. Callers do not have to be in crisis to utilize this line and access supportive listening, compassion, and connection to resources. This line is 24/7 and the number is 855-238-8644 (non-800-number version is 503-575-3761)
The YouthLine is a teen-to-teen support and crisis helpline for youth. Students in your district can text, call, chat, or email with us from 4:00-10:00 PM every day of the week. Visit www.oregonyouthline.org for more information. YouthLine is operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Student Suicide Assessment Line is available Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, to assist with student suicide assessments and safety planning at 503-575-3760. School staff can also call this line for consultation.
The Oregon Family Support Network has a supportive helpline available for parents of children that are experiencing mental health concerns. On this line, parents can speak with other parents that have gone through similar challenges. Find more information at www.reachoutoregon.org
U-Haul is offering free 30 stay storage for local evacuees.
Xfinity is now offering free hot spots to the general public.
ARCHES is activating an Air Quality Shelter. See ARCHES Project Facebook page or call 503-399-9080
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Children Impacted by Wildfires (En Español)
- Wildfires: Tips for Parents on Media Coverage (En Español)
- Simple Activities for Children During Evacuations or When Playing Outside is Restricted
- Strategies to Manage Challenges for EMS and Other First Responder Families
- Trinka and Sam: The Big Fire - e-book for young children. (En Español)
- Helping Youth After Community Trauma: Tips for Educators
- After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
- Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
- Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
- Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
- Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
- The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies
- Childhood Traumatic Grief: Youth Information Sheet
- Sustaining the Psychological Well-Being of Caregivers While Caring for Disaster Victims
- Safety, Recovery and Hope after Disaster: Helping Communities and Families Recover
- Leadership Communication: Anticipating and Responding to Stressful Events
- Wildfire Smoke Factsheet: Protecting Children from Wildfire Smoke and Ash
The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA; En Español). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events. PFA Handouts include:
- Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers (En Español)
- Parent Tips for Helping Preschoolers (En Español)
- Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children (En Español)
- Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents (En Español)
- Tips for Adults (En Español)
Mental Health & Wellness Resources
Marion County Health and Human Services
- Cydney Nestor, MCHHS Behavioral Health Director: 503-991-6280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phillip Blea-Marion Co-Program Manager 503-361-2733 or email email@example.com
Polk County Health and Human Services
- Kerry Blum, Polk County Health Services: email firstname.lastname@example.org and please visit our Service Integration Team page
- Jennifer Lief, Polk County Emergency Services: email at email@example.com or 503-623-9289.
- Brent DeMoe, Director of Polk County Family & Community Outreach Department: http://www.co.polk.or.us/fco
Yamhill County Resources
- Rebekah Harding, Lutheran Community Services NW, Social/Emotional support via Outpatient Counseling: 503-472-4020. Counseling can also be accessed through our partnerships with McMinnville and Newberg school districts.
- Trillium Family Services Information: Committed to providing effective clinical treatment for children and adolescents ages 5-18, experiencing mental health symptoms impacting their daily lives in the home, school, and community settings. For more information, please visit www.trilliumFamily.org or call 888-295-6996 and ask for the Mid-Valley region.
Self Care Resources
It's also important during critical times like this to take care of yourself. Learning to recognize one’s own warning signs of compassion fatigue or vicarious/secondary trauma is a critical component of self-care. Developing a warning system allows us to track our levels of emotional and physical depletion and can allow for tools and strategies to implement right away to support our personal and professional well-being and longevity.
Begin to develop your early warning system by identifying all that apply:
Physical Warning Signs
- Increased susceptibility to illness
- Sore back and neck
- Irritable bowel, GI distress
- Rashes, breakouts
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Heart palpitations
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
- Anger and Irritability at home and/or at work
- Avoidance of students
- Watching excessive amounts of TV/Netflix at night
- Consuming high trauma media as entertainment
- Not returning phone calls at work and/or at home
- Avoiding colleagues and staff gatherings
- Avoiding social events
- Impaired ability to make decisions
- Feeling helpless when hearing a difficult student story
- Impostor syndrome – feeling unskilled in your job
- Problems in personal relationships
- Compromised care for students
- Engaging in frequent negative gossip/venting at work
- Impaired appetite or binge eating
- Emotional exhaustion
- Negative self-image
- Increased anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Impaired appetite or binge eating
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Reduced ability to feel sympathy and empathy towards students or family/friends
- Cynicism at work
- Anger at work
- Resentment of demands being put on you at work and/or at home
- Dread of working with certain students/colleagues
- Diminished sense of enjoyment/career(i.e., low compassion satisfaction)
- Depersonalization – spacing out during work or the drive home
- Disruption of world view/heightened anxiety or irrational fears
- Intrusive imagery (You can read an excellent description of this in Eric Gentry’s Crucible of Transformation article).
- Hypersensitivity to emotionally charged stimuli
- Insensitivity to emotional material/numbing
- Difficulty separating personal and professional lives
- Failure to nurture and develop non-work related aspects of life
Once you have read through and determined your most frequent warning signs, try and identify your top three most frequent signs. We call them the “Big Three”. Are they all physical, emotional or behavioral, or do you see a mixture of signs from each category?
Would you say that you are currently in the Green (healthy), Yellow (warning sign) or Red zone with your overall functioning?
Now, ask a loved one or close colleague to share with you what they think your “Big Three” warning signs are, at home and at work.
Each warning sign has specific tools that can help reduce your levels of stress. For example, if you are experiencing a lot of secondary exposure-related symptoms, you may wish to examine the availability of debriefing and grounding strategies available through your district or EAP. You may also need to assess the level of extraneous trauma images and stories that you are exposing yourself to in your personal life.
If you have a lot of emotional symptoms, you may consider consulting with a well-trained mental health professional who is familiar with vicarious trauma and the nature of the work that you do.
Need more SEL resources? Check out our online courses.
School District Support
We suspect there are many unmet needs in our region and that these needs will continue to manifest in the coming days and weeks. WESD stands ready to support you in any way we can. We have placed key staff on alert, and we are prepared to temporarily repurpose their duties to help you and your students, families, and staff.
If needed, we have several very skilled and talented professionals who can assist your school district. We have licensed clinical social workers, family support advocates, and others who have specialized skills in student mental health/counseling, grief/loss counseling, trauma-informed care, social-emotional learning, youth suicide prevention, etc. They are gifted individuals and could provide additional social services type support in your school district.
Please do not hesitate to contact Tishri Tucker at Tishri.firstname.lastname@example.org with any needs you have. We will work together to make sure the correct staff connect with you.
Oregon Dept of Education has released a FAQ sheet regarding students displaced by wildfires and McKinney-Vento (MV) services.
The US Dept. of Education has a grant program called Project SERV. It is designed to support schools that have been through a disaster or traumatic event. It is focused on efforts to re-establish a safe environment conducive to learning. The Federal government is encouraging individual districts to apply. Please read the Quick Guide for more information, or contact Lindsay Booth at 202-453-6931 or Hamed Negrón-Perez at 202-453-6725, at the US Dept of Education.