Helping California Wildfire Victims

Hundreds of thousands of southern Californians are being evacuated, and at least 200 homes have been destroyed in a series of wildfires that ravage the region. Here’s how to help residents, first responders, and animals in need.

How to help evacuees

“In times of disaster like this, local organizations like your local homeless shelter, animal shelter or food bank can always donate,” says Sarah Nason of Charity Navigator. The Ventura County Commission Foundation has established a Disaster Relief Foundation (which distributes money to nonprofits that he believes can best serve the community), and the Ventura County star has a list of school gatherings accepting donations. Nonprofit organizations Food Forward and LA Kitchen deliver fresh food to displaced people.

She also advises donating to wildlife conservation societies and supporting charities.

National organizations are also mobilizing to help victims. You can donate to the United Way of Ventura County and Greater Los Angeles , and to the American Red Cross, which has opened shelters in Ventura County and Los Angeles County . The Ventura County Salvation Army is also accepting donations for people affected by the fire.

If you’re evacuating, U-Haul is offering free 30-day storage for bushfire victims, and Facebook has created a crisis response page that connects victims with people nearby who may offer shelter, clothing, or other resources. YouCaring has created a landing page for those in need.

How to help firefighters

Firefighters need Drip Drop, a powdered supplement that “helps maintain water balance and avoid intravenous drops in these debilitating conditions,” according to one local who suggests buying them from Amazon or Walgreens and delivering them to Oxnard Fire. Department, City of Ventura Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department.

How to help animals

The Ventura County Animal Welfare Society accepts donations through its website and has created an Amazon registry . Representatives told NBC that “they have enough food and water for animals and people, but they need alfalfa hay to feed their horses, burrows and alpacas.”

This post is periodically updated with new information. If you know of other ways to help, please email me at alicia.adamczyk@lifehacker.com.

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