Congressional Record, Washington, Thursday September 8, 2011
“One Shining example of this resiliency and compassion occurred in Blair, NE. In fact, the organized and dedicated response in Blair so impressed officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency that on September 2, 2011, they issued a news release about the incredible response efforts in Blair. It was entitled “How Blair Took Care of Their Own. “
Senator Mike Johannes
Our group formed originally as the Washington County Cares Committee during the early days of June, 2011 in an effort to aid those individuals who had been or were about to be displaced by the rising Missouri River. For three months the committee worked to help find housing, coordinate volunteers, provide meals and work with individuals whose lives had been turned upside down through no fault of their own. During the "High-Water Mark" the Washington County Cares Committee helped to place over 140 people into temporary emergency housing on the former Dana College Campus in Blair. This was proud moment and a most significant achievement.
The Committee’s membership included our business and faith communities, private citizens and some of our local officials. We often were (and remain) overwhelmed by the generosity of the residents of Washington County, Nebraska. It has been said that “charity begins at home”, our friends and neighbors have proven that to be true indeed.
After the river levels receded and the damage became visible, the Committee sought advice and input from other areas of the country which had been affected by disasters. After careful consideration, the committee reformed into the Washington County Long-Term Recovery Team (WCLTRT). The purpose of the WCLTRT is be to help those individuals who have sustained a loss, due to disaster, find the assistance they need.
Our organization has become a resource for our community to help residents prepare themselves for emergencies.
On behalf of the Washington County Long-Term Recovery Team, we wish to thank everyone for the generous donations of their time and resources as we continue to help our neighbors recover from and prepare for disasters.