5 Ways to Help Those Affected by The California Wildfire
We would like to thank all the firefighters tirelessly fighting the raging fires. We would also like to acknowledge the incarcerated firefighters, which make up 30 percent of California’s firefighters, fighting right now. They serve during their imprisonment and make $1 per hour. Often, they are unable to get a job after they complete their prison sentence even though they have training and experience saving lives as well as habitats. We thank those serving the community during their sentences, working to support their families and those of others.
Three wildfires burning in California continue to displace thousands of residents and destroy homes. So far, 31 people have died, over 200 people are missing, and 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to officials. Animals are under threat.
The impact now equals that of the deadliest on record in California - the 1933 Griffith Park disaster in Los Angeles. According to the New York Times (NYT), it is turning into “one of the most destructive in the state’s history” as well as the most deadly.
Here’s how you can help
Research: Donate to Reputable Charities
Do your research on which organisation to donate to and ensure your aid is used effectively. We recommend using Charity Navigator & Charity Watch. The former has a list they have made specifically for Wildfire Relief and so does the latter, with Direct Relief featured on both lists.
According to the Center for International Disaster Information, another and often more efficient way to provide relief is sending money. According to NYT, this allows volunteers to purchase exactly what they need rather than spend time sorting through donations.
Support local firefighters by donating to the LA Fire Department Foundation
California Fire Foundation is assisting those affected financially by providing pre-paid gift cards to purchase basic necessities, such as food and medicine
The 805 Undocufund is a int effort by several organisations assisting immigrants affected y the wildfires. Farm workers are still expected by their employers to work through dangerous air quality—some even without masks—but many of them also can’t afford not to work. Unlike legal U.S. residents & citizens, who can get assistance in rebuilding after loss from the wildfires, undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive federal aid in recovery. Many of them live below the poverty line. Please consider donating in their efforts if you can
Help the First Responders
They need gallon Ziploc bags; eye drops; face or baby wipes; energy drinks; water; granola or protein bars; beef jerky; sunscreen; Gold Bond powder; navy blue beanies; coffee; cups; hand sanitiser; small portable blankets such as roll-up, wool, or fleece; NSAIDs such as Tylenol & Advil; and chapstick. They have an urgent need for hydration packs.
You may drop these off at your local fire station such as LACoFD Station 68 at 24130 Calabasas Road; Station 89 at 29575 Canwood Street; or 1825 Park Drive in Echo Park. Since most donations have been made to LAFD, LACoFD firefighters were “freezing . . . because their engines weren’t working to provide heat.” Thank you to Sophie Assa, a local resident helping in relief efforts, for the information.
Help the Animals
Locally, fosters and food are needed at Deity Dogs & Goods in Beverly Hills, California. Horses, Farm, & large animal accommodations are available. You can call or test 818.974.2591 or 818.903.4400 or 818.257.0551.
The HIT Living Foundation needs donations as well as they’re working with Animal Hope & Wellness pulling animals from Malibu who couldn’t make it out in the evacuation. They’re placing them in temporary foster homes to reunite them with their families.
Use Airbnb Open Homes
If you’ve been affected, protect your health and reduce the hazard of ash inhalation
Follow the tips below from September 11 survivours and service people to reduce the effects of ash and smoke inhalation:
Wear goggles if you can outside as well as an N95 respirator, or a gas mask, if you can. Do not rely on dust masks for protection. The CDC warns that paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends wearing a tight-fitting respirator that filters ash particles from the air you breathe to help protect your lungs. Select a respirator that has been tested and approved by NIOSH and has the words “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it.
Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks to avoid skin contact
Shower & wash your hair every night, if you can
Be aware that contact with wet ash can cause chemical burns or skin irritation
Wash clothes as regularly as you can
Remove your shoes promptly when you’re inside to avoid tracking in ash
Wash your mouth with mouthwash or brush your teeth before eating or drinking
Wash all foods that have been outside