On Tuesday, January 9, 2018, Southern California received a substantial amount of rain for the first time since the historic wildfires in early December. While this may seem like a good thing, a large amount of rain immediately after a fire is a recipe for deadly mudslides. The rain causes mud and debris from the fire to come cascading down onto anything underneath it, and without trees or other natural structures to block it, this can devastate entire cities. Unfortunately, that is the case in Santa Barbara County and areas in Ventura County affected by the Thomas Wildfire. A torrential downpour of mud and debris left from the fire poured down onto residents of Santa Barbara, destroying buildings, homes, and left over 15 people dead and over 300 others stranded and in need of help. This is catastrophic, and the areas affected are in desperate need of assistance. Here are some ways that you can help.
The United Way is prepared for crisis in each community by providing trained volunteers, medical supplies, and other resources needed depending on the situation. The United Way of Santa Barbara has already been offering assistance with The Thomas Fire Relief and is a go-to in terms of providing medical assistance and resources during this time of need. For more information on how to donate, check out: http://www.unitedwaysb.org/
United Blood Services has a local blood bank in Santa Barbara. Many people are in need of medical help and blood donations are always necessary. Find the local United Blood Services location near you and let them know that you want your blood to be sent to Santa Barbara. For more information and to find the location nearest you, go to: http://unitedbloodservices.org or call (877) 464-4376
As of Wednesday morning, over 300 residents of the Santa Barbara area were stranded or unaccounted for. Local emergency responders have been doing their best to reach the people in need of help, but resources and medical assistance are needed. The American Red Cross is always taking donations of both blood and money, which can really aid this area during its time of need. For more information on how to donate, visit: https://www.redcross.org/donate
In addition to the lives lost and people stranded, thousands of homes have been wiped away. With so many homes needing to be rebuilt, the best way to help is to donate to Habitat for Humanity Santa Barbara. For more information, go to: https://www.sbhabitat.org/
By Kandice Martellaro for PeterGreenberg.coom