Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Wildfire - Evacuatees Say They Feel Cared For

As fires rage across Southern California, there is hope among the evacuees. Only about 20,000 people took advantage of the free shelters set up for the public. Many who could afford it went to hotels and others fled to the homes of loved ones.

For those in shelters like the Qualcomm Stadium and a racetrack in Del Mar, Ca, the experience has been a positive one so far. They would all love to learn that their homes remained untouched by the fire – bringing a happy-ending and relief after the last few stressful days.

The racetrack became home to evacuated horses and other large animals. The owners were so grateful for a safe place to bring them. Evacuees at both shelters brought their household pets and were able to kennel them at the facilities. A much needed improvement over Katrina evacuation efforts.

Almost as many volunteers help to distribute clothing and food. They care for the peoples needs like providing a wheelchair for Janet Tucker, a retired bus driver who lives on disability. Volunteers wheeled Janet through the Qaulcomm to visit with her cats housed in the kennel. She recently spent two weeks in the hospital for complications to diabetes and was very grateful for the medical care she’s receiving at the shelter.

Charlotte Leger is staying at the race track in Del Mar. She fears her house is gone, like most of the homes in her Fallbrook neighborhood. She said about the tragedy, “"We're still not allowed to go back into the area at all. Fallbrook's completely closed off, so we can't get in, but you just try to go on with your life and help others that are going through the same thing, and give it your best shot."

Shiva Moradfar of Rancho Santa Fe believes her home escaped the fire. After 30 years in California, she’s seen her share of wildfires, but none has come as close to her as this one. Shiva says that other evacuees are helping her keep her spirits up, and she is repaying them by serving as a volunteer herself.

Please keep these communities in your thoughts. Send help if you can or volunteer if you live nearby. The rescue and evacuation efforts seem to be going much more smoothly than in past disasters in other states. It’s good to see the improvements and how the volunteers are caring for the citizens displaced by the fires.

12 comments:

Mark Dykeman said...

Terrible times, but at least some people are getting help.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Mark,

I have friends that live within miles of the fires. Luckily the winds are dying down and it seems to almost be over.

Even in terrible times there are people who are willing to offer help and that is a good thing.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

Emmy said...

I have been watching this on the news over here and it saddens me. In Aussie fire is a very big issue, and my partners father is a fireman here in Adelaide. I respect the work they do everyday.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Emmy,

I didn't realize that you are in Australia. Yes, firefighters do very important work. We should all be aware of the sacrafices they make to keep us safe.

Peace,
Lisa

Anna said...

Fires are really dangerous especially when they are started in the dry weather conditions. This is too bad, but this is also great example of how much we care for each other. The other last I heard, you probably did to was in Greece, that was terrible, many people died just because of some stupid prank, and this is also shows us that there is also an evil side to humans too. Great post, Lisa like always. Anna :)

Lisa McGlaun said...

Anna,

I don't know if it's true but people here are saying that they've heard that many of the fires in CA were started by arsonists, too.

That is definately the dark side of humanity.

Peace,
Lisa

mary k said...

Thank you for such an encouraging post. It is great to hear stories of people pulling together around a tragedy.

On the 25th I received an email from someone who had just returned to his home after being evacuated three days earlier. He said, "So much for how bad the conditions were... the amazing thing (and so little reported in the press) was how orderly and peacefully the whole county adapted to it. People were remarkably civil and helpful to each other, and there were untold numbers of volunteers and generous acts that are pervasive."

I, like you, believe in the essential goodness of people, and it's great to see examples of it.

thewishfulwriter said...

It's comforting to know that some lessons were learned after New Orleans and that evacuees are feeling cared for and prepared for.

I can't stand the thought of the fires in California....for both the people, and the wildlife, that are losing homes...

La delirante said...

It is extremely sad to see what is happening in California...as a blogger commented above, it is good to see that some people are getting help.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Mary,

Thanks for passing on that quote. It's good to know that amidst the ruins there is hope.

Thanks,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Heather,

I'm with you. The loss of wildlife has been weighing heavily on my mind. It's very sad.

Hugs,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Wen,

And think about the fires that Greece recently endured. It really was a tragedy.

Best Wishes,
Lisa