Tips and info for helping the victims of the San Diego with your time or money or both. The evacuation centers have certain items they are requesting on a daily basis. Please watch the news on KUSI or NBC for updates. Note: Before visiting an evac center check to see what is required by calling authorities and carpool to avoid congestion. Toothpaste/brushes and under garments were reported in the morning today at the Qualcomm evac center.
I volunteered at the Qualcomm center on Tuesday and brought some supplies along with some medical staff. It was the least i could do since this is the biggest disaster in San Diego in magnitude. The scene was very calm with many volunteers, news crews and staff from local, state and even federal agencies. It was incredible to see volunteers from Long Beach, Oregon, Arizona and many other places helping out the fire evacuees. I met some really incredible volunteers who had driven several hours to help. There were many types of volunteers including medical, teachers and even massage therapists. The national guard was very helpful and provided much needed relief for first responders(fire, police and medical). They did an outstanding job in coordinating with very limited resources. Some of the fire staff has worked over 24 hours with almost no rest!! The navy and military provided a lot of supplies including sleeping cots. There were evacuees from almost every place in San Diego. They were thousands of evacuees in cars, RVs, camped out, sleeping on corners but were happy from the tremendous assistance provided by volunteers and authorities. There seemed to be so much going on including bands, kids zone with lots of teacher volunteers, great food from everywhere, plenty of supplies and really energetic volunteers willing to help anyone. It was great to see San Diego came together in a fast manner to tackle this emergency in a calm and organized manner. There were many authorities making their presence felt and were actively engaged including Gov. Schwarzenegger, Mayor Sanders and the homeland security was present also with a visit from Chartoff. They had national and international media here from CNN, CBS, NBC, CNBC and many more places. Check out the CBS evening news direct from Qualcomm evacuation center and NBC nightly news. Lots of donations from corporations including Sprint, several restaurants and Petco foundation donated supplies too. Our company helps first responders and we always try to think of ways to make the system more efficient but it is quite an overwhelming experience a disaster first hand with human lives at stake .
Here are some quick tips & Links: Note : You Can call 211 & 511 for the latest info on evacuations and road closures.
Info on Radio: AM 600
TV: Any local station including KUSI & NBC 39.
http://www.KUSI.com live video feed & Almost around the clock coverage.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/– Check out the firemap as well for latest
Websites for Volunteers, info & donations:
If you can host a evacuee or have a rental: Add it to http://www.Craigslist.org
There are donations being accepted at many retail shops also including Costcos.
San Diego Red Cross: http://www.sdarc.org/
– Register and become a volunteer. Enter your info. Important for Medical
personnel too. They require vets also in many cases.
– SD County Emergency Site Official
Official Google blog with Wildfire info and maps
Insurance Recovery: Call your Insurance Company asap. There are FEMA and Insurance companies at the Qualcomm other sites. Digital photographs will certainly help.
Many thanks to everyone who helped out including the brave first responders who risked their lives to save lives and homes of countless families in San Diego. Our heartfelt condolences to the wildfire victims and their families.
Deepak & other volunteers