RECAMFT's Disaster Response Team


On the afternoon of Sept. 12, 2015, the Valley Fire erupted in dry Lake County.  Within a five hours it spread to 10,000 acres. By the next day, it ravaged 50,000 acres and destroyed most of Middletown, Cobb, Whispering Pines and the south end of Hidden Valley Lake. Ultimately, the fire grew to 76,000 acres in Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties. 

RECAMFT responded to this disaster by offering day-long drop-in counseling the following Saturday. More than fifty RECAMFT members volunteered 3-5 free sessions of counseling for anyone affected by the fire. 


Above: (L-R) Gail van Buuren, Jeannie Vattuone, and Kim-Lien Chavez. 




RECAMFT responded to the challenges of the Valley Fire, by creating a Disaster Response Team. The team will work intimately with the local branch of the American Red Cross to respond to disasters in our area. 

Whenever the Red Cross opens aAmerican Red Cross logo shelter, one requirement is there must be a mental health professional at the shelter in addition to medical personnel. This means RECAMFT members have the opportunity to play an important role in responding to the many challenges which face our area, including floods, fires, shootings, earthquakes, etc. 

Doreen Van Leeuwen, LMFTUnder the direction of team leader, Doreen Van Leeuwen, below are some pictures of the team having fun at our inaugural training. To join the Disaster Response Team (new volunteers are ALWAYS welcome!) please contact therapy@recamft.org


Above: (L-R) Laura Strom and Doreen Van Leeuwen.  CISM stands for Critical Incident Stress Management. 


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