Frequently Asked Questions
What is After the Fire USA? Why are we needed?
During a disaster, the focus of the world is on the immediate response, but soon after the event ends, cameras leave and donations cease at the exact moment when survivors need the most help. Recovering from a federally declared disaster is a long term process — between 5-10 years if fortunate; 20-30 years if resources are scarce.
Many are familiar with the need for short term relief for survivors, however very few are aware the needs of survivors grow with time, especially in wildfire. It takes about one year just to clean the debris and begin to rebuild. It can take years before a survivor can even begin to think about rebuilding. Why? Trauma often accompanies disaster and rebuilding is a stressful, complicated, expensive process. This is a national problem. It is critical to have a dedicated organization who will respond to the needs of fire survivors until every family is home.
After the Fire USA was created to address the national needs of wildfire communities. We work in two ways: as a non-profit and beginning in 2023, we will launch a consulting arm that will stablize the non-profit wing financially. Disaster philanthropy is unpredictable; megafires are a certainty. We are meeting the moment.
Our non-profit, Rebuild NorthBay Foundation (RNBF) allows us to collaborate regionally to reduce the danger of wildfires on private property with state and federal cost-share programs with equity built in. These programs are innovative, scalable and open-source for any community who wants to adopt the models.
The non-profit wing of RNBF allows us to deploy wildfire survivors + national partners into newly fire-affected communities. We do not charge a fee. The program is fueled by donors. Our Community to Community Program is designed to build our Wildfire Resiliency Network (WRN) that empowers communities to share lessons, inform innovation, influence policy, and coach each other during phases of recovery. We believe in "reverse engineering" our programs; we begin with survivors and design from there.