A million, including Phil Mickelson, flee So. Cal fires; how to help
As wildfires still rage uncontrollably throughout Southern California, the news that Phil Mickelson’s family was one of hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate due to the rampaging blaze helped to put a face on the tragedy. As of this writing, nearly one million people have been forced to evacuate their homes, at least one person has died, scores injured, and countless homes destroyed. It is simply a hellish disaster.
Having grown up in Southern California, I’m aware of the horror that these fires can bring. In October of 2003, while living in San Bernardino, the Old and Grand Prix fires took hold in and around the same areas of the fires burning today.
At the time I was moonlighting as a racetrack announcer in Victorville, and was preparing to make the drive up the Cajon Pass for a race, when it became clear that the fires were hitting too close to home. Literally. My wife and I looked out from our complex and could see fire within a mile of our apartment. We were not evacuated but were prepared to leave if we had to.
Fires like these are terrifying in many ways, with the potential for loss of one’s life being the top. A look at the fires this year in Greece, which killed many, show that fire can truly overwhelm areas. Communities and people are truly forced to come together as they face an enemy that just cannot be controlled. And with the famous winds of Southern California, the current fires appear to be worse than any the area has ever seen, which truly tells you something.
Fire doesn’t care if you’re Phil Mickelson. It doesn’t care where you live. It doesn’t care about anything but consumption. My heart and thoughts go out to all those in Southern California facing these flaming demons. May they all get through this safely.
Below, via the Los Angeles Times are ways you can help those affected by the fires:
How to help
Charitable groups responding to the Southern California wildfires are seeking donations to assist residents affected by the fires.
American Red Cross: Cash donations can be made through www.redcross.org or through a local Red Cross chapter. Volunteers also are needed. Information on shelter locations can be found on Red Cross websites for Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties and the Inland Empire. Donations of clothing can be made at Goodwill locations. Information: (800) REDCROSS or (800) 257-7575 for Spanish speakers.
Salvation Army: Cash contributions can be made through its website www.salvationarmy-socal.org or by calling (800) SALARMY.
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services: Businesses wishing to donate large quantities of goods for distribution to fire victims can call (800) 750-2858 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific time. Individuals wanting to donate items or volunteer to help with local disaster response efforts should contact the Red Cross or go to the governor’s CaliforniaVolunteers website at www.californiavolunteers.org.
United Health Group: Southern Californians coping with the emotional consequences of the fires can call a counseling hotline at (866) 342-6892. The free service provided by the insurance company will be available around the clock for as long as needed.
The Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Cash donations are needed to support efforts to provide emergency shelter for animals displaced by the fires. Contributions can be made through www.spcala.com or by calling (888) SPCALA1. Food supplies also are needed.
New Leash on Life: The animal rescue group needs help caring for evacuated pets at its Newhall facility. The group can be contacted at (661) 255-0097.
|« Tiger Woods gets sampled as The Daily Show colors immigration issue||Here's your chance to buy St. Andrews »|
No feedback yet
Comments are closed for this post.