FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2018
Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center
Want to Help Fire Victims? Officials Urge Monetary Donations
LOS ANGELES (Sat, November 10, 2018) – Instead of donating goods to local fire victims in need, Los Angeles County and City officials urge individuals wanting to help to instead make monetary contributions to a local non-profit organization supporting residents displaced by the Woolsey fire.
Due to the large-scale deployment of first responders to the region, multiple road and freeway closures, and other hazards, officials warn members of the public to avoid entering impacted areas. Fire-affected areas need to remain clear for first responders, evacuation efforts, and emergency infrastructure repair efforts.
The most useful form of assistance for fire victims’ recovery is donations of money. Organizations actively involved in response efforts, such as the American Red Cross, need flexibility to provide disaster victims food, clothing, bedding, and other items most in need. Donations can also be used for cleaning materials, transportation help, and medical supplies.
With monetary donations, the difficult and labor-intensive efforts to sort, store, and repackage donated or in-kind goods should be avoided. Instead, non-profits can provide direct support to residents in need. Once immediate needs are met, non-profit organizations will continue to support victims for weeks, months and even years later.
“During a natural disaster with constant images of destruction on television and social media, public reaction is to want to help, and we are so grateful for that support,” said Sheriff’s Department Chief and Director of the Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center, Maria Gutierrez. “The easiest and most effective way to get support to those who need it most is to donate to organizations offering direct assistance.”
Officials said members of the public have responded generously to fire victims’ needs. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude by the generosity of Angelenos as we continue to receive donations for first responders and impacted residents,” said Aram Sahakian, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Emergency Management Department. “The most effective and efficient way to get the right resources to the right people is through monetary donations. Thank you again for your support as we continue to respond to these fires.”
Officials also caution members of the public to beware of financial scams related to wildfire recovery support, urging that donations be made to reputable first responder, relief, and animal-aid organizations, such as those listed below:
- American Red Cross: redcross.org
- United Way: unitedwayla.org
- Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation: lacountyanimals.org
- Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation: https://twitter.com/LAFDFoundation
For further information on the evacuation centers, animal shelters, road closures and wildfires, visit http://lacounty.gov/woolseyfire
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