2021 Wildfire Resources: How to Give & Get Support
Red Cross Photo by Scott Dalton
In times of great emergency, Californians stick together. We’ll always be available to support our communities in whatever way we can. We know now that monetary donations are always preferable for non-profits like the Red Cross and many others, which is why we’re putting our energy into generating as much as we can on their behalf. You can help by donating on their website or using your Alexa (just say “Hey Alexa, make a donation to the American Red Cross”).
We've compiled some of the best resources to give and get help for those displaced by wildfires. While this list will be updated as we get more information, it is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to comment your own recommendations below!
AIR QUALITY & COVID SAFETY
The best way to stay safe from the smoke right now is to stay indoors when you can. When you do need to go outside and you are not near other people, it's best to wear an N95 mask. But if you're near other people, (like at your local Sports Basement) it's best to wear a cloth or disposable mask on top of that. The vent on an N95 mask does not protect against transmission of COVID. We recommend layering a cloth or disposable mask over your N95 mask for complete protection.
You can see what the air quality near you is like on PurpleAir. The air quality index (AQI) is based on a scale from 1-500. The higher the number, the more polluted the air is. While different parts of the Bay are affected differently, we recommend staying indoors as much as possible to minimize exposure to the smoke.
WHERE TO DONATE FINANCIALLY
The number one request from most organizations and agencies is financial assistance. If you're able to, we highly suggest making monetary donations to your local or regional agencies & organizations like the ones below:
- Red Cross Northern California
- North Valley Community Foundation - Wildfire Recovery & Relief Fund
- California Fire Foundation - 2021 Wildfire Relief Fund
- California Fire Foundation - Benevolent Fund
- United Way of Northern California - Disaster & Wildfire Relief
WHERE TO VOLUNTEER
If you're at low-risk for COVID and are able to volunteer your time, we highly recommend reaching out to these organizations:
- Red Cross - Volunteer Opportunities
- CA Gov - Support a Local Food Bank
- CA Gov - Become a Wildfire Volunteer
WHERE TO FIND SUPPORT
These are really tough times for everyone in the Bay Area as news of the fires and the heavy smoke can cause a lot of anxiety & stress. Please don't hesitate to reach out to someone you know or call a hotline for help especially if you're feeling stressed or panicked.
- Red Cross - Find a Shelter
- FEMA - Find a Shelter
- CA Gov - Wildfire Recovery Resources
- CA Gov - Crisis Counseling & Helpline
- 211 - Get Connected With an Expert
- Plumas County Resources
- Disaster Assistance from DisasterAssitance.gov (en español)
- Apply for an Emergency RV or Camper
While staying informed is important, it can also lead to more stress if you're obsessively checking news and social media too often. Try to limit your news checks to protect your mental health and keep your stress levels down. We recommend checking these sources (sparingly) for the most up-to-date information:
- CAL FIRE - Wildfire Plan
- CAL FIRE - Pre-Evacuation Checklist
- Sports Basement - Emergency Kit Checklist
- ASPCA - Disaster Preparedness for Pets