Southern California Fires
Last Updated: October 14, 2019
Oct. 10 - 12, 2019 Engine 41 and Engine 43 Saddleridge Fire
How to Help
Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible, and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through area businesses, which supports economic recovery.
Please think twice about donating unsolicited goods. When items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing critical services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors. Cash donations are the best way to help survivors.
How to Help Resources:
- Information on volunteering and donating to the survivors of wildfires
- How you can help those affected by the Southern California Wildfires
- How to Help Those Affected by California Wildfires – Consumer Reports tips on making your donations more effective
The following recommendations from the L.A. County Public Health Department will help you protect yourself and your family from harmful effects of bad air quality:
- If you see or smell smoke, or see a lot of particles and ash in the air, avoid unnecessary outdoor activity to limit your exposure to harmful air. This is especially important for those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), the elderly and children.
- If outdoor air is bad, try to keep indoor air as clean as possible by keeping windows and doors closed. Air conditioners that re-circulate air within the home can help filter out harmful particles.
- Avoid using air conditioning units that only draw in air from the outside or that do not have a re-circulating option. Residents should check the filters on their air conditioners and replace them regularly. Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can further reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.
- If it is too hot during the day to keep the doors or windows closed and you do not have an air conditioning unit that re-circulates indoor air, consider going to an air conditioned public place, such as a library or shopping center, to stay cool and to protect yourself from harmful air.
- Do not use fireplaces (either wood burning or gas), candles, and vacuums. Use damp cloths to clean dusty indoor surfaces. Do not smoke.
- If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to smoke exposure, including severe coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your doctor immediately or go to an urgent care center. If life threatening, please contact 911.
- When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though you may not be able to see them. Wearing a mask may prevent exposures to large particles. However, most masks do not prevent exposure to fine particles and toxic gases, which may be more dangerous to your health.
The following is recommended for pets:
- Avoid leaving your pets outdoors, particularly at night. Pets should be brought into an indoor location, such as an enclosed garage or a house.
- If dogs or cats appear to be in respiratory distress, they should be taken to an animal hospital immediately. Symptoms of respiratory distress for dogs include panting and/or an inability to catch their breath. Symptoms for cats are less noticeable, but may include panting and/or an inability to catch their breath.
Are you prepared? Please review your emergency preparedness plans with your family. What would you do if a fire were to threaten your home? Some precautions would be to make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas, park your car in your driveway facing outward, and replenish emergency supply kits for all family members, including pets. Visit our Emergency Preparedness web page for information on how to prepare.
For further questions about Emergency Preparedness, contact Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Christine Parra at 310.253.5900 or contact Christine via email.
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