For people who live in areas prone to wildfires, the damage doesn’t end when the fire is finally contained and the flames are quelled. You may not know what to do if you’re caught in a wildfire, but sometimes the aftermath can be just as stressful. The fallout is really when the problems begin for many homeowners and victims who have been affected. Sometimes a home that has been in the family for many years is destroyed completely or damaged so badly that the family has to move out and find other lodgings. The lucky ones whose homes were not touched may have been impacted by the ever-present wildfire smoke which gets blown about by the winds in those areas.
This smoke can bring on respiratory issues or worsen those which already exist, as the fine particles carried in the smoke penetrate directly into the lungs to impair health. The truth is, far more people are affected in a wildfire zone than just those who are in the direct path of a raging conflagration. There are several ways we can reach out to the victims of wildfires, so as to ease their suffering and overcome some of the inconveniences they’re forced to deal with.
How Can I Help Victims of Wildfires?
There are three main ways that any person in America could help victims of wildfires, most of which live in the Midwest and the West. These three areas are by volunteering your time and effort, making cash donations, and by providing food for those who have been forced out of their homes. One of the most interesting organizations established so as to feed the homeless victims of wildfires is the World Central Kitchen, which is a non-profit organization established by chef José Andres.
Among other places around the world, his kitchen has an outlet in Northern California where many wildfires break out, and during wildfire season his staff will provide meals for a great many people impacted by seasonal wildfires. Whenever specific wildfires break out in the California area, there are several organizations that spring into action to assist those in need.
For instance, the United Way provides both long-term and short-term help, the Sonoma County Resilience Fund assists with mental health counseling and housing, and the Red Cross opens numerous shelters, while the Salvation Army offers emotional and spiritual support as well as a number of meals for people. Donating to any of these organizations will increase their ability to assist victims of wildfires in California.
Donating money is particularly effective in terms of assisting wildfire victims because it’s very versatile and can be put to use in a number of ways. For instance, by donating to the Red Cross, you can be sure that your donation will go directly into providing assistance to wildfire victims. In 2018, the Red Cross served nearly 400,000 meals and snacks to wildfire victims and provided over 63,000 overnight shelter arrangements with the help of their partners.
The organization also distributed more than 81,000 comfort kits, cleaning supplies, and desperately needed household items. In addition, approximately 67,000 contacts were arranged to provide mental and spiritual assistance for those who had been impacted in some way by recent wildfires. Keep in mind that all of this help was provided in a single wildfire season by the Red Cross and that this is an ongoing effort that is needed every wildfire season, in order to help people who are made homeless or who require temporary assistance.
Food is obviously one of the most important commodities required by wildfire victims, especially those who have been displaced from their homes. With virtually everything they own gone up in smoke, they are literally placed in a position where survival is their primary goal. The basic needs for survival are food, water, and shelter, and there are a number of agencies that typically become involved to help supply those fundamental needs.
The Salvation Army is one of the organizations which becomes involved during wildfire season to help supply badly needed food and other services to wildfire victims. Their Social Services branch assists with transitional housing and a number of other support services to help singles and families who have been made homeless to get back on their feet. Spiritual needs are supplied by offering weekly worship and services at whatever location is being used as a gathering place.
This is especially important to people who have been heavily impacted by wildfire because their faith will be heavily drawn upon in such a time of crisis. Foodservice is one of the big ways that the Salvation Army assists wildfire victims, and if you can make contributions of both perishable and non-perishable food items to this organization, you can count on all those donations being distributed to those who need them the most.
If you happen to live somewhere out in the western section of the country, you can volunteer your time to help victims of wildfires. Each wildfire season, many sympathetic citizens become involved in some way to help out there fellow human beings in any way they can. An organization called Caring Choices organizes all these volunteers and distributes them to areas of greatest need. This organization deploys volunteers where they’re needed, even to other agencies, and these volunteers help out with communications, management of donations, general administration, and the monitoring of resources.
Volunteering is an essential component of the general reaction to seasonal wildfires because volunteers provide much-needed services in those areas. Some volunteers become involved as personal shoppers, others assist with general maintenance, and some even become involved with the reconstruction of homes that have been devastated. Even having no particular skills, your donation of time can be a very valuable resource to organizations that spearhead the effort to assist those who have been heavily impacted by a wildfire.
Defend your Home from Wildfire Destruction
In the aftermath of a wildfire, there are always thousands of people in need of help, and everyone in this country is capable of providing some kind of assistance, even if it’s just in a small way. You can donate time, money, or food to help those who have been most heavily impacted. Another way you might want to help is to volunteer to spray homes in wildfire zones with the best fire retardant on the market, which is PHOS-CHEK HOME DEFENSE fire retardant spray. Contact us to learn more about this super-effective fire retardant, and how you can protect your home and property against the ravages of a wildfire.