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Jesusita Fire Assistance Roundup

Red Cross Requests Money; Medical Needs Options; Help for Animals


Friday, May 8, 2009

Quick news items on various forms of assistance related to the Jesusita Fire: What the Red Cross is asking for, options for those with special medical needs, and what help is coming for displaced animals.

Red Cross Asks for Financial Donations

The Santa Barbara County Chapter of the American Red Cross, which depends on volunteer work and donations, requests financial donations to aid its efforts in accommodating those hit by the Jesusita Fire. Its emergency shelter at Dos Pueblos High School, 7266 Alameda Avenue in Goleta, is at full capacity. Another shelter has been prepared at the UCSB Multi-Activity Center (MAC), located on the UCSB campus just behind the Recreation Center on Ocean Road, and the Red Cross plans to open additional shelters when necessary.

The relief organization requests donations of any denomination, and reminds contributors that anything will help. To make a donation, visit sbredcross.org.

Emergency Arrangements for Those with Special Medical Needs

Area residents who have special medical needs and who also have been displaced by the Jesusita Fire are encouraged to call the Jesusita Fire Call Center at (805) 681-5197 to be directed to an appropriate care facility. Those who are in need of medical attention but cannot reach a medical center should call the same number to arrange for transportation. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is working with area hospitals, American Medical Response (AMR), and various nursing facilities to transport medically unstable residents to appropriate facilities.

The Health Department requests that residents with medical concerns call (805) 681-5197 and call 911 only in the event of a medical emergency.

Volunteers Coming to Aid Animal Shelters

At the request of the Santa Barbara Humane Society, the Sacramento-based United Animal Nation (UAN) has begun to deploy Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers from all over California to Santa Barbara today to assist with the emergency sheltering operation for the hundreds of pets displaced by the Jesusita Fire. "We hope to provide some relief to the amazing Santa Barbara Humane Society staff and volunteers, who have been working nonstop to care for the animals since this crisis began." said Janell Matthies, UAN emergency service manager and leader of the EARS team in Santa Barbara, in a written statement.

UAN will send 10 specially trained EARS volunteers per day to Santa Barbara to help care for the evacuated animals at the temporary emergency animal shelter for the duration of the Jesusita Fire crisis.

Since 1987, UAN has provided aid to communities overwhelmed by a large number of displaced animals during crises. The organization has provided relief in more than 90 natural disasters and crises, including fires in Butte County, California, in 2008; flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2008; and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Those needing assistance with their animals should still call the Santa Barbara Humane Society at (805) 681-4332.

Allison M. Jones and Rachel Reeves are Independent interns.

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