A list of people, places and things to help San Diego live through and recover from the wildfires.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fire aid for Fallbrook

Posted @ 3:53 PM

The community aid group "Fallbrook After The Ashes" is scheduled this Sunday to host a street fair downtown to raise money for victims of the Rice Canyon fire.
The fair will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street. All of the proceeds will go toward helping people affected by the fires.
The fair will feature a tribute to local firefighters and law enforcement, local vendor booths, live and silent auctions, live bands, food, wine tasting, a beer garden, and a children's area.
Some of the featured musicians will include Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly, Raiz Music, and Fear the Fat Guy.
The Rice Canyon fire destroyed more than 200 homes in Fallbrook -- half of them in the Valley Oaks Mobile Ranch off Reche Road.
For more information, go to www.fallbrookaftertheashes.com.
-- Bruce Lieberman, staff writer

Dealing with trauma post-fire

Posted @ 3:34 PM

A community forum on coping with trauma in the aftermath of the San Diego firestorms is set for Nov. 14 at the Doubletree Golf Resort in Rancho Penasquitos.

Panelists include psychiatrists and psychologists from Palomar Pomerado Health system, Alliant International University and Rancho Bernardo High School.

The event sponsored by the Doubletree and Alliant is set for 7-9 p.m. in the hotel's Heritage Ballroom, 14455 Penasquitos Drive.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fire donation center to close

Posted @ 4:53 PM

Fire victims seeking free clothes, food and household items will no longer have a one-stop place to collect those donations.

The city of San Diego plans to close the Rancho Bernardo Donation Assistance Center, which has been operating in a vacant lot across the street from the city-run local assistance center. The assistance center in the city's RB Recreation Center will remain open to help victims get their local, state and federal paperwork processed and receive other kinds of aid.

Sally Hales of the Hope Foundation said her organization contracted with the city to oversee the donation center, where victims could "shop" for the stuff of daily life, from toothpaste to toys. Hales said they were asked to close by noon Wednesday.

"We would have liked to stay longer," said Hales. She said victims can still receive assistance and donations from the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church Resale Shop at 12845 Poway Road. For people wishing to donate to fire victims, city officials suggested contacting the Salvation Army, Goodwill, the American Red Cross or the San Diego Foundation.

- Lisa Petrillo, staff writer

Helping Hands Disaster Relief Foundation

Posted @ 2:22 PM

Helping Hands Disaster Relief Foundation is sponsoring a "FREE STORE" for survivors of the wildfires to "shop" for items they need to rebuild this Saturday, November 10th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and Preschool in Poway.

DONATION DROP-OFF: We are able to accept donations on Friday, November 9th from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mt. Olive Church as well as from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. prior to the start of the Free Store. If you have donations and are unable to make it to Mt. Olive Church at these specified times, contact me at jefjaxlake@cox.net to schedule a drop-off at my house (12944 Camino Del Valle, Poway 92064).

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: Our Volunteer Coordinators are: Diedre Mikkelson (1accutrac@cox.net) or 858-829-1316, Sue Peterson at jstzpete@aol.com or Cindy Light at clight@san.rr.com or 858-547-0199.

Below are the times we will need volunteers specifically:
We will need drivers (with large vehicles) on Friday, November 9th at 12:30 p.m. to meet at Price Self Storage (located on Murphy Canyon Road - close to Qualcomm Stadium) to pack up trucks/vans, etc. with donated goods and deliver them to Mt. Olive Church.

Donation sorters for Friday, November 9th from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Volunteers to help set up the Free store from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 10th.

Volunteers to help at the Free Store at various stations/tables to help fire victims and families (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on Saturday, November 10th.

BOXES: If you have any boxes (moving boxes, xerox paper boxes or any larger boxes) or access to boxes, we would love to use them! Boxes can be brought to Mt. Olive Church during the same drop off times listed above prior to the event. It is easier for the families to bring their items to their car if they have boxes to transport them.

BAGS: Any large plastic bags (garbage bags) can be used as well.

MONETARY DONATIONS: We are also accepting gift cards for grocery stores, Target, Walmart, local restaurants as well as cash donations made payable to Helping Hands Disaster Relief Foundation. ALL donations will go directly to the fire victims.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Requests for aid in Fallbrook are shifting

Posted @ 6:48 PM

The flow of people into Fallbrook's county-run Local Assistance Center, situated at the Fallbrook Community Center since Oct. 27, has slowed significantly.

Throughout last week, aid workers saw a flood of people seeking shelter, food and other necessities. On Monday, people were predominantly seeking help with the next stage of recovery - cleaning up their properties, obtaining building permits and getting their homes re-built, and coping with wage and business losses, said Ruth Ann Petro, a county spokeswoman.

People who suffered lost wages during the evacuations are seeking help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Employment Development Department (at http://www.edd.ca.gov).

Several avocado grove owners have sought aid from the Small Business Association (at http://www.sba.gov) and the county's department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/awm)

The Fallbrook Local Assistance Center will remain open for the foreseeable future, Petro said.

- Bruce Lieberman, staff writer

Senior center to offer counseling

Posted @ 6:41 PM

Seniors seeking counseling due to last month's wildfires will be able to find help at the Fallbrook Senior Center at 399 Heald Lane.

The center is planning to host group counseling sessions, although the times and dates are not yet scheduled, said Phyllis Sweeney, a grief counselor at the center.

A separate group may be set up especially for residents of the Valley Oaks Mobile Ranch, which lost 120 out of 170 homes, Sweeney said.

Seniors who have experienced losses or were separated from friends and loved ones during evacuations are struggling with a variety of stresses, Sweeney said.

Seniors who need counseling services can contact Sweeney at 760-731-3037.

- Bruce Lieberman, staff writer

Video Memories By Bev

Posted @ 2:24 PM

Video Memories by Bev will replace any DVD lost in the fires, at no charge, that the company has produced. This includes weddings, special events, photo montages, slide transfers or old home videos. Bev, the owner, has kept master copies of all of her work that can easily be duplicated.

For information, call Bev at (619) 334-7830.

Prescription drug assistance in Fallbrook

Posted @ 12:03 PM

A bus staffed by representatives of the pharmaceutical industry is in Fallbrook today to offer residents impacted by the Rice Canyon wildfire assistance with their prescription drugs.

The "Help is Here Express" bus tour will be parked at St. Peter's Catholic Community Church until 4 p.m. today to help uninsured people find programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free, according to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

The church is located at 450 South Stage Coach Lane.

The bus tour is part of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a national effort sponsored by American drug research companies. The PPA claims to have helped more than 4.3 million patients, including more than 250,000 people in California. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 1,500 cities to raise awareness about patient assistance programs.

The "Help is Here Express" is staffed by specialists to help low-income, uninsured or underinsured patients access more than 475 patient assistance programs, including more than 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. For patients who have been affected by the recent wildfires, expedited assistance is available.

When the "Help is Here Express" leaves Fallbrook, people in need can visit PPA's Web site (http://www.pparx.org/) or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW (toll free) Operators can field calls in more than 150 languages.

- Bruce Lieberman, staff writer

La Jolla Reservation residents need help

Posted @ 10:34 AM

The La Jolla Indian reservation, one of the hardest hit by the Poomacha fire, is accepting donations of batteries, hoses, clothing, shoes, canned goods and gift cards to discount stores.

"We're having a problem right now with shoes," said Calvin Rodriguez, who is organizing efforts at the tribe's gym on Sengme Oaks Road off state Route 76.

Also, much of the donated clothes the tribe has received so far are too small, he said. "Most of our people are pretty big," he said.

People interested in helping the tribe may contact Rodriguez at (760) 271-8671.

The La Jolla band is also working with the San Diego Foundation, which has set up a relief fund for Indian tribes. More information is available at www.sdfoundation.org/fire2007.

--Onell R. Soto, staff writer

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fallbrook aid group in action

Posted @ 6:47 PM

A Fallbrook group has worked hard this week getting aid to people who lost everything in last week's fires.

North County Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, is a grass-roots group based in Fallbrook that serves residents of Fallbrook, Rainbow and Bonsall.

Established in 2005, the group coordinates its work with the North County Fire Department, said Everett Herb, a volunteer with the group.

Yesterday, CERT had a tent set up at Fallbrook's Local Assistance Center at 341 Heald Lane - ground zero for aid for fire victims.

CERT was mobilized initially to provide aid for pets and other animals impacted by the fire, but so many people have donated items for people that volunteers have been busy assembling and delivering care packages, said Everett Herb, a 50-year-old volunteer.

Volunteers with the group have delivered numerous items to fire victims throughout Fallbrook but also to Ramona and Pauma Valley, said Christina Martinez, a 32-year-old volunteer.

One CERT volunteer brought dog food, water and care packages in his pick-up truck to Palomar Mountain.

The group has supplied fire victims with pet food, kitty litter, kennels, blankets, pet beds, collars and leashes, flashlights, batteries, diapers, dust masks, plastic buckets, gloves and many more items.

CERT is still accepting donations. Call James Beebe at 760-728-2010 or contact him at jbeebe@ncfire.org.

- Bruce Lieberman, staff writer

Members of California Coast Credit Union eligible for aid...

Posted @ 1:15 PM

Any current California Coast Credit Union member, whose primary residence was destroyed by the wildfires, is elegible to receive a $1,000 donation per family or household from the credit union.
Membership status must date back to Oct. 21 and proof of loss must be shown by the household's insurance agency, FEMA, or a similar agency. All requests must be received by Nov. 30.
For more information, call the credit union's Emergency Financial Services Line at (858) 636-3075 or visit www.calcoastcu.org.


ABA sets up toll-free legal hot line

Posted @ 9:48 AM

A toll-free legal hotline is now available for victims of the recent wildfires in Southern California. The line was created by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the State Bar of California and Foley & Lardner LLP.

Fire victims who are unable to afford a lawyer may call the hotline at (866) 636-9041 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT; messages may be left after this time. Callers should identify that they are seeking fire-related legal assistance.

The kind of legal help available includes:
· Assistance in securing FEMA and other governmental benefits available to disaster victims

· Assistance with insurance claims (life, medical, property, etc.)

· Counseling on landlord/tenant problems

· Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies, and procedures

· Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in a major disaster

Through a 1978 agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the ABA YLD has been called upon to provide legal assistance to victims of natural disasters. When the president declares a "major disaster," the ABA YLD mobilizes lawyers to coordinate volunteer activities through hotlines or by staffing disaster recovery centers in the hardest-hit counties.

In addition to the hotline, the ABA and the State Bar of California have created comprehensive Web sites listing disaster resources: www.abanet.org/disaster and www.calbar.ca.gov .

Pet owners' grieving circle online

Posted @ 8:33 AM

There is a special place owners who lost pets to the wildfires can go to for comfort and grief counseling. It was originally set up by a very special earth angel, Ginny Brancato, when she lost her own pet many years ago and found nowhere to turn. It is a virtual pet cemetery where you can set up little "gravesites" for the furbabies you lost and other sections to help, including a Monday Night Candlelighting Ceremony where grievers can sign in and chat with others:


C. Lafferty

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Free flu shots for wildfire victims

Posted @ 3:46 PM

The county's Health and Human Services Agency is now offering free flu vaccine at three County Local Assistance Centers and three American Red Cross Family Assistance Centers to those affected by the wildfires.

The Agency urges people at higher risk for complications from influenza, as well as those who want to reduce their chance of getting influenza, to get the seasonal influenza vaccine.

The influenza vaccine, Afluria, is being donated by its manufacturer, CSL Biotherapies and the distributor, Global Pharmaceutical Sourcing. The donation was secured by Passport Health, a private travel health care provider; they have also donated vaccine and medical supplies.

For more information about the county's assistance centers -- including locations, hours of operation and types of assistance available -- visit www.sdcountyemergency.com and click on "Firestorm Recovery Information," or call the 211 San Diego information service.

Bank to donate $1 million to relief effort

Posted @ 3:38 PM

Pacific Western Bank will donate $1 million for its newly established relief fund to help recovery efforts following the wildfires that have ravaged the region, officials announced Wednesday.

The gift will infuse the bank's new Pacific Western Bank Fund at The San Diego Foundation and will be used for community improvement projects in the region for years to come.

The donation includes $100,000 that has been designated to aid families of firefighters and police officers.

Pacific Western is the largest independent bank headquartered in San Diego and is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Community Bancorp. It is the largest donation in the history of both banks.

As the banks saw employees, customers and their families suffer from the fires, officials wanted to help the community recover from the disaster. Bank representatives sought advice from former Gov. Pete Wilson on how to best help the region following the fires.

The fund will be administered by The San Diego Foundation and guided by a corporate committee.

Five major wildfires burned in San Diego County, destroying nearly 1,600 homes and more than 360,000 acres. Seven people were killed by the fire storm and seven others died from fire-related incidents.

-- By Maureen Magee

Ford gives trucks to city fire department

Posted @ 3:17 PM

The Ford Motor Company donated 10 Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles to the San Diego City Fire/Rescue Department Thursday.

The gift followed a request from fire department officials who said the department had an urgent need for heavy duty work trucks and SUVs. Ford dealers in the county located two specially equipped vehicles and gave them to the San Diego City Fire Department for immediate use.

The Ford Motor Company Fund has also contributed $100,000 to the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

Ford Motor Credit has announced it's allowing customers hit by the wildfires to put off paying one or two monthly payments, resuming their regular payment schedules when their situations improve.
Customers can call may call (800) 723-4016 to register for the Ford Motor Credit Disaster Relief Program.

- Tom Mallory, U-T Breaking News Team

Even squares can make a difference -- donate one

Posted @ 3:16 PM

My name is Georgeanne Smith and I live in San Diego and survived the Witch Creek Fire.

Our whole county is being ravaged by wildfires which are burning thousands of acres and have already caused millions of dollars of damage, and many people have lost their homes. These fires started on Sunday, Oct. 21 and are are now just reaching containment.

Over 1,588 families lost their homes due to these fire storms and I knew, after being a victim of the Cedar Fire in 2003, that I could not just wait and rely on "someone else" to take care of my neighbors that were displaced.

As a member of the of the knitting and crocheting community here in San Diego (I manage a group of over 100 fiber crafters in Mira Mesa, I placed a plea for help in organizing an effort to make blankets for the families who lost their homes in the fires.

I wanted to help them build their homes again and help them feel connected to the community by giving them something made with love. I was asking for donations of 8" acrylic knit or crocheted squares that we can sew together. (No cash please!).

I never expected the outpouring of support and generosity I have received. I have begun to receive not only these squares from the local San Diego community, but Arizona, Michigan, New York, the United Kingdom and Germany.

My email is flooded daily with support from people asking how can they help us in San Diego.

This is what knitters and crocheters do - we make things and give back to the community we are a part of.

I would like your assistance in spreading the word. If you are willing, I would really appreciate it if you could put a post on your website about our efforts and let people know where they can donate squares, or let any other friends know who can reach a lot of knitters and crocheters.

You can direct them to email sandiegowildfireblankets@gmail.com for more information and for the addresses where they can send the finished squares.

You can read the whole story and follow our progress on our blog www.sandiegowildfireblankets.blogspot.com.

And If you are interested in donating a square or two yourself, that would be awesome as well.

Thanks so much in advance for your help.

GeorgeAnne Smith

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Palomar College seeks donations

Posted @ 5:55 PM

The Palomar College Foundation is accepting monetary donations that will be given to members of the community college affected by the wildfires.
Three $500 grants have been awarded to students to spend on books, clothes and other living expenses and three additional grants have been approved, said Rich Talmo, cq executive director of the foundation. Students could be eligible for more than one grant, he said.
Talmo said the foundation would like to raise about $40,000, and is asking businesses to donate gift cards that will be used to replace household goods.
Students addresses' will verified against a list of homes destroyed or damaged by the fires, Talmo said. About a dozen employees were affected by the fires but the number of students is unknown at this point, he said.
Checks should be made out to the foundation's Student, Faculty & Staff Fire Relief Fund 2007, and mailed in care of the foundation, A-4B, 1140 W. Mission Road, San Marcos, CA. 92069 or dropped off on campus.
For more information, call (760) 744-1150, ext. 2732.

- Linda Lou

Free legal advice for wildfire victims

Posted @ 2:43 PM

Attorneys throughout San Diego County will provide free legal services for the thousands of families whose lives have been affected by the recent wildfires.

Anyone affected by the wildfires may access legal assistance by dialing the toll-free FEMA- ABA/YLD disaster hotline at 1-866-636-9041. Additional legal resources for wildfire victims, including an application for assistance, can be found at the San Diego County Bar Association’s website www.sdcba.org/disasterrelief.

Legal issues faced by the fire victims will run the gamut from insurance coverage to landlord-tenant concerns to employment questions. The assistance program will connect people to experienced lawyers for advice. The lawyer assigned will not charge the client for his or her legal services, which will be available in both English and Spanish.

For attorneys interested in volunteering, visit www.sdcba.org/volunteer. To contribute to the San Diego County Bar Foundation’s Disaster Recovery and AID fund, visit: http://www.sdcba.org/SDCBF_recovery_aid.pdf .

East County cities help evacuees, firefighters

Posted @ 12:17 PM

East County cities provided nearly 20,000 meals to fire evacuees, firefighters and law enforcement personnel last week.

About 500 volunteers and donors came together Oct. 22, first at the La Mesa Community Center and later at the El Cajon Elks Lodge, to make and deliver bag lunches and hot meals to various evacuation centers around East County and beyond.

The effort was organized by the cities of La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove as well as the Kiwanis Club of La Mesa.

La Mesa city officials say they served 19,525 meals and distributed up to 37,000 pieces of fruits and 4 tons of supplies, such as cots, blankets, diapers and toiletries.

- Liz Neely, staff writer

Cal Fire seeks blood donations for burn victims

Posted @ 9:09 AM

Cal Fire is asking for blood donations to help treat burn victims from the firestorm, most of them from the first couple of days from the Harris fire.

The victims include four firefighters in Potrero overrun by flames while trying to rescue Thomas Varshok, who was killed while trying to save his home. His 15-year-old son also was seriously burned.

Two of the firefighters received skin grafts and are reported to be up and around and doing well. The other two remain in medically-induced comas and their conditions are unchanged.

- Greg Gross, Breaking News Team

Monday, October 29, 2007

National Conflict Resolution Center offers mediation services to fire victims

Posted @ 3:42 PM

In the aftermath of the southern California wildfires, many victims may find themselves in disputes along their paths to recovery.

The National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) is a full service alternative dispute resolution provider qualified to resolve these challenges and is offering to do so at a low- or no-cost fee for fire victims.

Through mediation at NCRC, victims will get their questions answered in an environment where they can find an agreeable solution. NCRC can help fire victims avoid the hassles of court time and costs, allowing them to move forward with their lives.

Disputes are common in the wake and recovery of such devastating events. Examples include:
• Disputes over property lines
• Fire hydrant and water supply issues
• Code compliance issues
• Problems with the permitting process
• Disputes with building contractors
• Disputes over debris removal
• Lingering insurance issues

NCRC operates as a private, non-profit corporation. For more information or to schedule a mediation call NCRC at (619) 238-2400. Information is also available at http://www.ncrconline.com.

PostalAnnex+ offering free rental and storage boxes

Posted @ 2:36 PM

PostalAnnex+ stores around the county are offering both six months of free private mailbox rental and up to five corrugated boxes to any family who lost their home in this week’s fires.

People needing the free mailbox should come into the PostalAnnex+ at 970 W. Valley Parkway in Escondido or any of the others listed at www.postalannex.com/freemailbox. No purchase is necessary, and the free mailboxes are on a space-available basis for up to six months.

Photo ID will be required along with a second form of identification in order
to complete the application required by the USPS. In addition, these same people can
choose from any size box in stock up to 5 boxes per household at no charge.

Sycuan Tribe Donates $500,000 to The San Diego Foundation "After-the-Fires Fund 2007"

Posted @ 1:20 PM

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation has donated $500,000 to The San Diego Foundation After-the-Fires Fund 2007 to help San Diegans rebuild after the disastrous fires that struck San Diego County this week. The Tribe will also contribute to programs to assist other local Indian tribes in San Diego County that were impacted by the fires.

The fund was established on Sunday, October 21st and will be used for making emergency grants to first responders and other nonprofit service organizations engaged in disaster response, recovery and rebuilding. The first stage of the effort will be immediate response and recovery activities, primarily the provision of food, shelter, housing and healthcare needs. The second stage will provide grants to help rebuild the lives of fire victims, as well as restore the communities affected by the fires.

Sycuan will also be directing significant support to other Tribal communities in the region. Several local tribes lost homes and community facilities to the fires and will need support in their rebuilding efforts.

To learn more about the After-the-Fires Fund visit www.sdfoundation.org. For more information about Sycuan visit www.sycuan.org.

Food for 2-1-1

Posted @ 1:00 PM

Although the worst of the wild fires have subsided, volunteers are still staffing the 2-1-1 San Diego phone line that provides information on emergencies and disasters around the county.
2-1-1 San Diego is looking for donations of lunches or dinners to feed 100 volunteers taking calls for the non-profit organization through Nov. 9. The volunteers at their offices near Montgomery Field work 24 hours a day, providing information on community, health and disaster services. All donations are tax-deductible.
For more information on how to help, call Lauren Bullock at (619) 980-1906 or email her at lbullock@211sandiego.org
-- Maria C. Hunt

County Fire Recovery Hotline

Posted @ 12:12 PM

San Diego County, (866) 402-6044; press 2
Removing fire debris: (877) 663-0391
Erosion control (including sandbags): (888) 846-0800
Status of building permits or damage assessment: (858) 694-3876
Truck, trailer or other licensed vehicle removal:
North County (including Julian, Warner Springs, Santa Ysabel, Ranchita, Borrego Springs): (760) 940-2893
East and South County (including Ramona): (619) 441-4264
Wells/septic systems: (619) 441-4030

-- D. Baker

First responders not in need of donations

Posted @ 11:13 AM

Cal Fire informs us that while they are very grateful for the response from civilians wishing to donate supplies, all their needs are filled from within the Cal Fire system as part of their logistics.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant thanks everyone for their support but encourages donations of supplies be made to area evacuation shelters and other organizations.

Anne Maclachlan

Cox adds fire assistance team

Posted @ 10:53 AM

To better assist our customers who have been displaced by the wildfires, Cox Communications has established a special Fire Victims Assistance Team to help those customers with special service needs.

In addition, Cox Communications is providing those customers with free communications features for short-term and long-term solutions.

Cox Digital Telephone customers
· Choice of voicemail or call forwarding service free of charge for 30 days;
· Voicemail or call forwarding services (up to 18 months);
· Extended referral message (up to 6 months).

Cox High Speed Internet customers:
· Maintain email address;
· Maintain log-in for web mail access (up to 18 months).

All customers displaced by the wildfires:

If they need to disconnect service at their current address, we will waive reconnection fees for their new service address.

Customers displaced by the fire can receive the following services by calling 619-262-1122 or 760-599-6060 (North).

Volunteer. San Diego - Fire Related Volunteer Oppurtunities

Posted @ 8:58 AM

There are fire-related volunteer opportunities available, for those 18 and older.
Current opportunities available include:
* Sandbagging (listed as erosion control on the calendar)
* 211 needs phone bank operators, especially Spanish speaking volunteers
* Loading water and providing traffic control at a senior center
* Distributing supplies
* Helping with handing out food and receiving donations.
To register, visit www.volunteersandiego.org

-- S. Carter

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Julian Gets Free Internet

Posted @ 6:48 PM

Julian - Due to communications disruptions from the fires, Microsoft and the County of San Diego are providing free Internet access for Julian residents.

The Internet service is available at a specially-equipped bus in the parking lot of the Julian Branch Library, at 1850 Highway 78. The bus includes computers with Internet access, printers, a WiFi hot spot, cell phones and an Xbox unit.

The bus will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until communications are restored to the area, according to a press release from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.

--Anna Cearley, staff writer

Red Cross closing shelters

Posted @ 3:47 PM

The American Red Cross has closed the following shelters. No evacuees were residing in the shelters at the time of closure.

Harrah's Rincon Reservation, 777 Harrah's Rincon Way, Valley Center

Mount Miguel High School, 8585 Blossom Ln., Spring Valley

Poway Community Park, 13094 Civic Center Dr., Poway

American Red Cross Client Service volunteers will be available at the following Service Delivery Sites on Saturday, October 27th for one-on-one meetings with families who have emergency-caused needs and whose homes and personal effects have been destroyed by the wildfires (new locations in bold).

Del Mar Fairgrounds, West Grandstands Lower Level, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Potrero - Kiwanis Community Center, 25771 Potrero Valley Rd, Potrero, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dulzura Community Center, 1136 Community Building Road, Dulzura, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photo identification that includes home address from an affected area is required to receive service. Additional service locations, as well as hours of service for upcoming days, will be posted on www.sdarc.org. Visit this site for the most current information.

--Greg Gross, Breaking News Team

Habitat for Humanity wants YOU

Posted @ 1:05 PM

The San Diego chapter of Habitat for Humanity is seeking volunteers and donations to aid people who lost their homes in the wildfires or need assistance in cleaning up their property.

The organization plans to offer rebuilding assistance for the uninsured and underinsured who have nowhere to turn, said spokeswoman Carolyn Bollman. Decisions will be made on where rebuilding efforts will occur after damage assessments are completed.

For more information, call the Habitat for Humanity office at 619-283-4663 or visit www.sdhfh.org.

--Ron Powell, staff writer

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fire relief benefits scheduled

Posted @ 3:56 PM

Local media outlets are lending a hand to raise money for San Diego's fire-relief effort. Here are some benefits in the works:

- Cox Communications and Channel 4 San Diego have teamed up with the San Diego Padres and the Fashion Valley Mall for a week-long donation drive. Today through Nov. 2, the public can drop off cash donations or checks payable to ARC-San Diego Wild Fires at the Fashion Valley Mall. Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff will make an appearance tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m., and Channel 4's Sam the Cooking Guy will be on hand from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. It all happens on the south side of the Fashion Valley Mall, near the Boudin Bakery. The hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, when the hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross and the San Diego Foundation's fire-relief efforts.

- Radio stations XX Sports Radio (1090 AM and 105.7 FM) and San Diego 1700AM will host Mission Recovery, an on-air memorabilia auction and donation campaign to benefit the American Red Cross fire-victims fund. Auction items include tickets to the 2008 Super Bowl, vacation packages, signed memorabilia and a dinner for two with Pete Rose. The Mission Recovery effort started today and will run through Nov. 2.

- The KGB Halloween Blood Drive couldn't be happening at a better time. The grand-daddy of all blood drives will be held Tuesday at Dixieline in Kearny Mesa, 4888 Convoy Street. The drive runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

- Tuesday's 91X Concert From the Crypt will benefit the San Diego Foundation for Fire Relief Efforts. Local faves Louis XIV will headline the all-ages show, which has been moved to the House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., downtown. Tickets can be purchased at the House of Blues on the day of the show only.

- Karla Peterson, staff writer

La Mesa RV Center Donates RVs for California Fire Victims

Posted @ 3:11 PM

La Mesa RV, with nine RV dealership locations in the United States and two in the areas of the recent ravaging firestorms in the state of California, is reaching out to help fire victims.

With the cooperation of local RV parks in the San Diego area, including Campland On The Bay, KOA in Chula Vista and Chula Vista RV Resort, La Mesa RV is helping fire victims by donating a motorhome or trailer for their use for a one week time period. Each of the campgrounds have partnered with La Mesa RV in offering their sites for use by the victims in the donated RVs.

La Mesa RV feels an obligation to the citizens of this community to do what we can as a company to assist during this tragic time. We appreciate our partnering campgrounds in assisting us with this program to provide spaces for the motorhomes.

La Mesa RV is spearheading the coordination of the use of the vehicles and campsites. Victims of the fires that are interested in the program are asked to contact La Mesa RV Center at 858-874-8000 and ask for Steve Love Monday through Friday or Jan Mosegaard on Saturday and Sunday. People that participate in the program will need to go to La Mesa RV to be assigned a vehicle and camping space.

In addition, La Mesa RV is placing a special order for housing units direct from the factory for purchase by people needing housing. These 32-foot towable housing units include a full kitchen, queen size bed in the bedroom and a set of bunk beds. La Mesa RV will help with the placement of these units onto campsites or homesites if needed. La Mesa RV will be providing this service to the community for no mark-up on the sale of the unit. Contact La Mesa RV Center in San Diego for more information or go to the website www.lamesarv.com.

Villa Monte Vista's 99 residents return home today

Posted @ 2:13 PM

American Medical Response (AMR) is coordinating the return of 99 elderly residents to Villa Monte Vista (1296 Monte Vista Road, Poway), a skilled nursing facility, this afternoon.

The residents were evacuated earlier this week due to the wildfires. Thirty of the residents will be picked up from Palomar Continuing Care (1817 Avenida del Diablo, Escondido) at 2 p.m.

This large scale repopulation of Villa Monte Vista will be completed by ambulance strike teams arranged through AMR, the County's disaster ambulance coordinator.

Returning residents to their homes is a good sign that progress is being made and the lives of these individuals will begin to get back to normal.

Housing available

Posted @ 1:57 PM

Fairfield Properties has immediate rental housing available including month-to-month leases as well as specials for victims of the wildfires in California. This includes San Diego, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and Orange County.

All of the information can be found at the bottom of this page:

Pro bono post-fire financial planning

Posted @ 1:55 PM

San Diego County fire victims interested in meeting with a financial planner to discuss their finances in light of this tragedy are encouraged to contact the Financial Planning Association of San Diego.

We have members offering to provide pro bono advice to fire victims. Topics available for discussion may include, but are not limited to, debt management, budgeting, what investment accounts to pull money from, types of loans, and understanding homeowners insurance. San Diego FPA can be reached at 619-504-0142, info@fpasandiego.org, or www.fpasandiego.org.

My stuff duffel bags for kids

Posted @ 1:25 PM

The My Stuff Bags Foundation is offering its duffel bags filled with new, comforting items (toys, stuffed animals, clothing, blanket) to children and teens throughout Southern California who have lost all their belongings in the recent fires.
The bags will be distributed through qualifying community organizations such as schools, houses of worship, employers, insurance companies and others in the fire-devastated areas. Organizations are encouraged to contact the My Stuff Bags Foundation immediately at (866) 3-MYSTUFF.
"Each My Stuff bag carries the message, `Lots of people care about you,' because almost all of the items inside are donated," says Janeen Holmes, president and CEO of My Stuff Bags, a nonprofit organization that provides its duffel bags to abused, neglected, abandoned and displaced children. "It is the foundation's way of wrapping its arms around these unfortunate children."
The foundation, launched in 1998, is calling upon individuals, corporations, organizations and public and private foundations for funding and donations of new children's items, including essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste, toys, stuffed animals, books, games, clothing, school supplies, and one of the most comforting and important items, a cuddly blanket, often made by volunteers. Visit mystuffbags.org for more information.
-- Jane Clifford

Free counseling for fire trauma

Posted @ 12:55 PM

Anyone in need of counseling support due to the fires can get free assistance from a group of volunteer mental health professionals.

Fire and Loss Counseling is organized by San Diego marriage and family counselor Aimee Zakrewski. Its members are licensed and pre-licensed psychotherapists and psychologists with experience in bereavement, grief and loss.

Anyone needing help can visit http://www.azgrowth.com/flc.html

Gaining access to pets in burn areas

Posted @ 12:35 PM

The County Department of Animal Services is coordinating all animal information.

If you are trying to gain access to a home to care for animals in a closed area call the County Department of Animals Services Dispatch at (619) 236-2341

Tell the the dispatcher the following:
1. Your name,
2. If you are the owner, professional pet sitter, animal caretaker or friend
3. Exact address of home
4. Number and types of pets in home
5. When last given fresh water/food
6. If you have keys to that home

They may want to meet you at the closet checkpoint to obtain the keys OR may escort you in.

Jeweler will recreate lost jewelry and repair fire damaged pieces

Posted @ 12:22 PM

My name is David Levi...I run Levi and Sons Fine Jewelers along with Versailles Fine Jewelers. I have a location in the Parkway Plaza mall and my other locations are in the Fashion Valley Mall along with Horton Plaza.

A few years ago after the Cedar fires, I ended up recreating a lot of jewelry that was lost in the fires. We have a large customer base that I am sure is affected by the recent fires in Ramona and surrounding areas of San Diego County. I would love to extend myself out to the victims who have lost their jewelry and try to help them out in replacing it. I would want to work very close to my cost in helping the community out and think it would be a good idea if you'd want to help me get the word out. I only want to do this because it is one way I know my business can help the community out.

I remember a lady coming to see me a few years ago and all she had was a wedding picture of her wedding ring that was lost in the Cedar fires and I had to recreate the ring using CAD/CAM technology. I can create a wax mold of the original ring, then cast it, and set any stones.

David Levi

RB Inn discounted rates for evacuees

Posted @ 12:10 PM

Rancho Bernardo Inn is offering displaced residents a place to stay, with a special room rate of $139, including breakfast, to those in need, as long as occupancy allows.

Additionally, the Inn will allow staff members who have been affected by the fires to stay on property until they can find a more permanent residence and will also be assisting in the cleanup efforts around the area.

Phone lines to the resort are fully operational, and additional information can be obtained by calling 858-675-8500 or visiting http://www.blogger.com/www.ranchobernardoinn.com.

The Inn escaped serious damage from the Witch Creek fire and reopened on Thursday. It had been evacuated early Monday morning.

The 287-room resort is located on Bernardo Oaks Drive east of Interstate 15 and just north of Rancho Bernardo Road in north county.

Help for artists affected by the wildfires

Posted @ 12:10 PM

The San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN) wants to help artists in need of assistance due to recent fires. If you know of actors, musicians, or other artists who require help at this time, please see below:

Fire Storm 2007 - SDVAN is helping the Synergy Arts Foundation to gather information about artist in need due to the wildfires.

Please send contact details so we can follow up on their situation. More info: 619- 265-1271 Naomi Nussbaum.

Escondido/Ramona relief collection point

Posted @ 12:03 PM

For the horses, llamas, sheep, etc :

Hay - NOT TO BE DELIVERED TO THE CHURCH - I will get the driver through the police checkpoint.
sweat wipers
triple antibiotic ointment - neosporin
used blankets
I am not a horse person so not sure all that they need - so call me if you think of something and I will add it to the list.

For Humans
water - 5 gallons are ok - 5 gallon water dispensers, gallon containers and water bottles
masks - the really good ones if possible - just can't get enough of these
baby wipes - being uses in place of showering
Ensure or other vitamin enriched drinks
Gatorade type drinks with electrolytes
Depends or other disposable undergarments
food - any - contact me regarding donations of perishable food - dry foods like pancake mix, dry milk, ready made mixes
eye drops - the individual ones
eye wash
triple antibiotic ointment - neosporin
anything medical such as bandaides, wraps, etc.
anything toiletry : toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotions, razors, creams, make-up, body scrub, dental floss, contact cases, solution, nasal spray
Any clothing - all sizes really need undergarments, socks.
mattresses - regular and air mattresses - battery operated pumps
any Linens - sheets, towels,
combs, brushes
manicure kits, toiletry kits
ibuprophe, advil, asprin, thermometers - prefer the ear type & the disposable coverings so we can reuse easily
anything over the counter - allergy meds, benedryl, cough drops, etc.
homeopathic medicine
halloween costumes
All baby items, diapers, creams, lotions, baby wipes
small plastic bags like you get your groceries in or walmart uses - need these really bad

Inspirational books & cds & dvds
hand massagers
heating pads
neck pillows
lumbar support pillows
calming music
games - decks of cards -
art supplies for the kids to keep them busy
vcrs- tapes for entertainment

Clean up & Rebuilding
work gloves
disposable gloves
duct tape
any cleanup - garbage bags, mops brooms, vacume cleaners, cleaning supplies - windex, disinfecting products, etc.
hoses, spray nozzels for the ends,
rakes, shovels, pitch forks, post diggers
flash lights
larger work lights
lumber and all building supplies (don't deliver this to the church)

Where to deliver:
Westminster Presbyterian Church
1500 S. Juniper St.
Escondido, CA 92025

Thank you !!

Tammy Searle

Door-to-Door Storage offers frees pace for fire victims

Posted @ 11:58 AM

Door to Door Storage, Inc. will be offering two free months of storage to victims residing in the zip codes affected by the San Diego fires. While supplies last, those affected by the fires are welcome to bring their personal belongings to the company’s San Diego facility and unload their items into one of the portable storage containers (additional units also available).

Each unit is large enough to accommodate a full room worth of furniture and personal items. Once individuals unload their items into the container, the company will provide environmentally controlled and secure warehouse storage for as long as necessary. At the end of the storage stay, there will be an option to either retrieve items out of the container at the warehouse facility, or have the unit delivered anywhere within the company’s service area.

Those interested should contact an associate for details and/or a reservation at 888-410-3667.

'Cox Channel 4 Cares' drive kicks off with $25,000 donation

Posted @ 11:54 AM

WHAT: A weeklong donation drive at Fashion Valley Mall to aid victims of the San Diego wildfires, sponsored by Cox Communications, the San Diego Padres and Fashion Valley Mall.
WHERE: Fashion Valley Mall (south side, first level near Boudin Bakery)
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Nov. 2, 2007
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (except Sunday)
11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28

Special appearances:
Saturday, Oct. 27 , noon to 2 p.m.: San Diego Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff .
Sunday, Oct. 28, noon to 2 p.m.: Channel 4 San Diego’s Sam the Cooking Guy.

The public can drop off cash donations or checks made payable to ARC-San Diego Wild Fires during this weeklong fundraiser. All public donations will be handled by the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The $25,000 donation from the Cox Kids Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications, will go to the American Red Cross and the San Diego Foundation fire victims relief efforts.

Palomar YMCA hosts forum for wildfire families

Posted @ 11:50 AM

WHO: Dr. Ken Druck , YMCA Consultant and Founder of the Jenna Druck Foundation,
Mayor Lori Holt-Pfeiler, Escondido Union School District Superintendent Jennifer Walters, Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher

WHAT: A Town Hall Forum hosted by the Palomar Family YMCA to help and assist families in the healing process of our Escondido community. Dr. Druck will address wide-ranging audiences around the country on the topics of grief literacy, violence prevention, parenting and the healing process, including The Harvard School of Public Health and Young Presidents Organization. He also gives high school assemblies on “Life Lessons from Grief.”

WHEN: Friday, October 26 at 6:30pm

WHERE: Palomar Family YMCA
1050 North Broadway
Escondido, CA 92026

WHY: Dr. Druck will address and facilitate wide-ranging topics concerning the affects of the fire storms to family members of our community and how to move forward with this process. Dr. Druck has worked with the FDNY and the U.S. Justice Department and assisted in the rollout of California's historic violence prevention legislation (SB 1667) in 2004. He was recognized by President George Bush and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the one-year anniversary of 9-11 held at Ground Zero -- and selected "Family Advocate of the Year" by the California Psychiatric Association.

*Childcare will be available for families

Volunteer San Diego opens volunteer/donation center

Posted @ 11:22 AM

WHAT: Volunteer San Diego is partnering with Social Venture Partners, Hope Force International, and Amylin Pharmeceuticals to organize a community-wide Volunteer Reception Center and collection drive.

Today, Friday, Oct. 26, community members will be able to register with Volunteer San Diego onsite and donate supplies to wildfire victims. This collection drive will focus on crisis relief supplies, such as new or unused 8-66 qt. plastic bins, sunscreen, shovels, working gloves, infant care items, etc..

WHO: Hundreds of volunteers and community members
WHEN: Friday, October 26th, 2007 7:30 am-7:30 pm
WHERE: Near UTC, at Amylin Pharmaceutical at 9625 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego

MORE INFO: Volunteer San Diego is designated by the County Office of Emergency Services as the lead agency for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer management as part of the County’s Disaster Response Plan.

Those interested in volunteering are urged to register on www.volunteersandiego.org. As volunteer opportunities become available, they will be posted.

Carlsbad sports facility solicits donations, opens for free Saturday

Posted @ 10:25 AM

Velocity Sports Performance in Carlsbad is opening its training center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday for kids ages 7-17 to play basketball, dodge ball, soccer and other sports indoors. Participation is free but everyone is asked to bring a gently used piece of sports equipment that will be donated to wildfire victims.

Velocity Sports Performance is at 6070 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad. For information call (760) 444-0100 or visit www.velocitysp.com/carlsbad

Free performance of "Narnia" at ECPAC today

Posted @ 10:04 AM

The Christian Youth Theater will be holding a free performance of Narnia today at 2:00 p.m. at the East County Performance Arts Center in El Cajon. The theater is located at 210 East Main Street.

The theater can accommodate 1,100. Arrive early for seating.

The performance is about 2 hours.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sempra to give $5 million to recovery

Posted @ 8:22 PM

Sempra Energy plans to donate $5 million to fire recovery efforts in the county, CEO Don Felsinger announced at a news conference today.
Felsinger said the money will come out of company earnings.

Half the money will be dedicated to communities. Felsinger said, for example, it could be used to rebuild a library lost to the fire.

The other half will be earmarked for individual customers. The donations could be as small as bags of ice to customers who have no refrigeration while awaiting the restoration of their power. He said bigger donations would go to customers to incorporate energy efficient design and features into rebuilt homes.

At the same news conference, VJ Joshi, cq an executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard, said his company's foundation will donate $2 million to the American Red Cross. Joshi said he has evacuated his home in Rancho Bernardo, where H-P has a campus. Joshi also said Hewlett-Packard will match as much as $1.5 million in employees' contributions, for a possible additional $3 million.

Chris Moran, staff writer

Copley Foundation gives Red Cross $100,000 and $50,000 to Humane Society

Posted @ 5:46 PM

In the wake of San Diego County’s firestorms, the Helen K. and James S. Copley Foundation is contributing $100,000 to the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross, which will use the money to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those affected.

In addition, $50,000 is being donated to the San Diego Humane Society by the Copley Foundation, to help care for family pets displaced by the fires and to further the organization’s future efforts.

“The fires have had both a frightening and saddening impact on our community,” said David Copley, publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune and SignOnSanDiego.com, and son of the late Helen and James Copley. “San Diego is well known for its resolve and pulling together in great times of need, and we hope our contribution will assist in that effort.”

In addition to the monetary contributions, the Union-Tribune’s Web site, SignOnSanDiego.com, is donating more than two million impressions of advertising to the American Red Cross.
“We will continue to seek opportunities for The San Diego Union-Tribune to aid firestorm recovery efforts in San Diego County,” said Drew Schlosberg, community and public relations manager.

Toys for Tots distributes toys early due to wildfires

Posted @ 5:11 PM

The San Diego chapter of the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is participating in the relief effort for the victims of the Southern California wildfires.

Marine Reserves delivered a truck load of new, unwrapped toys to the evacuation center at Qualcomm Stadium on Wednesday.

“Our hearts go out to the victims of the fires and especially to the children who have been affected. If one toy can bring some sense of relief to a displaced child, then we have accomplished the mission of the Toys for Tots program,” Toys for Tots coordinator Sergeant Patrick Russ said.

“The Marine Reserve Toys for Tots program stands ready to provide assistance as necessary and are able to accept new unwrapped toys for distribution.”

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is a nonprofit charity which collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them to needy children in the community as Christmas presents. The toys are collected by Reserve Marines at various community fundraisers and civic functions, sorted according to age and gender, and then distributed to local social and welfare agencies, churches and civic organizations.

In 2006, the Toys for Tots program in the San Diego area collected 171,125 toys reaching more than 49,000 children.

Fleetwood fundraiser for injured Harris fire firefighters

Posted @ 4:34 PM

Eat drink & mix to support San Diego Firefighters this Thursday night.

The Fleetwood, 639 J Street, San Diego, is holding a special benefit event to support the four firefighters of Cal Fire engine 3387 who were injured Sunday during the Harris Fire. A portion of all proceeds from the evening and all donations will go to support them and the boy they rescued, who was also injured.

From 4-10 p.m., a special $30 three-course meal will be offered to patrons wishing to dine in support of engine 3387.

In addition you can rsvp your full name to attend an invitation-only, Finlandia-hosted bar from 9-11 p.m. In lieu of a cover charge, a minimum donation of $10 is asked. Enjoy DJ entertainment in the Wood starting at 9 p.m.


Fleetwood is located in the Gaslamp at the corner of 7th & J st. next to Petco Park.

Firefighters and kids can cruise harbor for free

Posted @ 3:51 PM

Hornblower Cruises & Events is inviting the kids of evacuated families aboard one- or two-hour narrated Harbor Cruises & Sea Lion Adventures to cruise free. Up to two kids 12 and under will cruise free with each paid adult ticket.

Adult tickets are $18 per person for one-hour cruises and $23 per person for two-hour cruises.

Hornblower Cruises is also invitng all local firefighters, police officers, sheriff department officers and other officials involved in fighting San Diego wildfires to cruise free on any one- or two-hour Harbor Cruise & Sea Lion Adventure -- along with one guest per person.

This offer is redeemable by showing current identification or a badge at the Hornblower Cruises & Events ticket booth.

Hornblower’s staff and crew salutes the hard work and courage of the men and women who have worked long hours under dangerous conditions to protect us in a time when we most needed their help. We thank you!

There are six daily Harbor Cruises & Sea Lion Adventures, beginning at 10 a.m. The Hornblower ticket booth is located at 1066 North Harbor Drive. For more information, call 619-725-8715 or visit

La Posta Indians open evacuation center

Posted @ 2:59 PM

What: In response to the devastating Southern California fires, the La Posta Band of Mission Indians is opening La Posta Community Center, located on the La Posta Indian Reservation and adjacent to the La Posta Casino, to wildfire evacuees from the surrounding areas of Jamul, Campo, Potrero, Dulzura and other East county communities.

The center will be used as an evacuation center for those affected by the San Diego County wildfires and their farm animals. The facility, now functioning with full power, is equipped to comfortably accommodate up to 100 evacuees with a full service kitchen, washrooms and a computer center. The reservation has the capacity to house horses, RVs and motor homes.

Effective immediately.

Where: La Posta Casino at the La Posta Band of Mission Indians Reservation located in Boulevard, CA along Interstate 8, 45 minutes from downtown San Diego and 20-minutes from the Potrero area.

Why: The La Posta Band of Mission Indians is a strong supporter of the communities it serves and is proud to be able to assist in the relief efforts during this difficult time. The Southern California wildfires have led to the largest evacuation in California history. The flames have burned at least 431,000 acres across five counties, displacing an estimated 10,000 people or more.

FEMA puts a Tiger in the tank

Posted @ 2:42 PM

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has deployed a rapid response housing assistance unit or “Tiger Team” to identify immediate housing needs and options for housing assistance for wildfire evacuees.

The teams are made up of assistance specialists, engineers, direct housing specialists and direct replacement assistance coordinators.

The rapid response housing assistance Tiger Team is a new approach to temporary housing, that stems from lessons learned in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The team will analyze evacuee housing needs and match them to available resources, including resources that ensure accessibility of housing assistance to those with disabilities or other special needs.

The Tiger Team also will identify and provide any additional technical assistance required to transition evacuees from shelters to interim and permanent housing as quickly as possible.

Those in the counties designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers are presently available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves, including permanent address, telephone number, insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Alpha Project collecting donations

Posted @ 2:31 PM

Help us collect needed items~ Towels~ Socks~ Undergarments~ Packaged food~ Sleeping Bags

You can drop off items at:
~ North Park - 4101- B 30th St. (619) 281-8411 (Mon.-Fri. from 9-1pm)
~ San Diego - 299 17th St. (619) 234-3041 (Daily from 8-2 pm)
~ Vista - 993 Postal Way (760) 630-9922 (24 hours, daily)

Donate your used vehicle
For fast, convenient pick-up of your used vehicle, call (866) 4AP-2TOW or (866) 427-2869.

Alpha Project is supported in part by:
Shawne Merriman and the Lights On Foundation
The City of San Diego
The County of San Diego
United Way of SD - #6015CFC - #37717

Special prayer services

Posted @ 1:41 PM

Two churches will hold special services Thursday night to pray for healing and share stories of this week's firestorms. Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, 120 Stevens Ave., and Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church, 17010 Pomerado Road, will host the community gatherings beginning at 7 p.m.

-- Sandi Dolbee

Emergency food stamps

Posted @ 1:40 PM

San Diego County residents directly affected by the wildfires may be eligible for emergency food stamps, county officials said.

People can apply for them at county family resource centers and the four local assistance centers set up to help wildfire victims.

The stamps are available on a one-time-only basis if people meet specific requirements, such as losing a home or income because of the fires. Families who currently receive food stamps may be eligible for increased levels if they were affected by the fires.

Applications will be accepted today through Saturday.Complete instructions and guidelines are available by calling (866) 262-9881


Posted @ 1:27 PM

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is opening 29 of its office locations in San Diego as drop-off points for needed items that will be forwarded to the American Red Cross or delivered to local evacuation shelters.

Needed items (which must be new):
Cases of water and Gatorade; paper products such as plates, bowls, napkins and cups; plastic utensils; large trash bags; new packaged underwear and socks in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; sweat shirts and pants; diapers, especially sizes #1 and #2; baby wipes; baby formula; energy bars, canned foods with pull tops; toiletries such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, disposable razors, deodorants, and hand sanitizer; chapstick; sunscreen; bar or liquid soap; new blankets; new towels; dry pet food for dogs and cats; kitty litter; and playing cards or board games.

Free office services
Additionally, Coldwell Banker’s offices are available to provide free office services such as telephone, fax and copying services to anyone who has been displaced by the fire and requires assistance in making insurance claims or conducting other fire-related business.

Free rental assistance program
The company has initiated a free Rental Assistance Program for people who have lost their homes and are seeking rental options while they rebuild or find a new home. Anyone who has available rental housing, including second homes, please contact a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office so their housing can be added to a master list of rental housing. People in need of housing can go to www.CaliforniaMoves.com to search available rentalsor stop by a Coldwell Banker office to get the full list of rentals.

Following is a list of Coldwell Banker offices where donations can be dropped off and available rental housing reported:

Carlsbad -- 760-804-8200
7020 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Carmel Valley - 858-259-05553810 Valley Centre Drive, Suite 906San Diego, CA 92130

Coronado – 619-437-18531340 Orange AvenueCoronado, CA 92118

Del Mar – 858-755-00752651 Via De La ValleDel Mar, CA 92014

Del Mar Village – 858-755-15001312 Camino Del MarDel Mar, CA 92014

El Cajon – 619-444-6000
898 Jackman Street
El Cajon, CA 92020

Encinitas / La Costa – 760-753-5616740 Garden View CourtEncinitas, CA 92024

Escondido – 760-743-2001387 N. Escondido Boulevard, Suite AEscondido, CA 92025

Fairbanks Ranch – 858-756-586616236 San Dieguito Road, Bldg. 1, Suite 10Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

La Jolla – 858-459-3851930 Prospect StreetLa Jolla, CA 92037

La Mesa – 619-460-66009332 Fuerte DriveLa Mesa, CA 91941

Mission Valley – 619-296-9055
2655 Camino del Rio North, Ste. 450
San Diego, CA 92108

Ocean Beach – 619-225-08001851 Cable StreetSan Diego, CA 92107

Olivenhain – 760-436-0143162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd., #A-30Encinitas, CA 92024

Pacific Beach – 858-488-40904090 Mission BoulevardSan Diego, CA 92109

Point Loma – 619-224-51112727 Shelter Island DriveSan Diego, CA 92106

Rancho Bernardo – 858-487-333316363 Bernardo Center DriveSan Diego, CA 92128

Rancho Bernardo East - 858-592-9000
15703 Bernardo Heights Parkway
San Diego, CA 92128

Rancho Santa Fe – 858-756-44816015 Paseo Delicias / PO Box 2225Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Rancho Santa Fe Village – 858-756-69006024-F Paseo DeliciasRancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

San Diego Downtown – 619-239-8400501 W. Broadway, Plaza ASan Diego, 92101

San Diego Metro – 619-574-51511660 Hotel Circle North, Suite 101 San Diego, CA 92108

San Diego Mission Hills – 619-297-99101621 West LewisSan Diego, CA 92103

San Marcos – 760-471-9939744 Grand Ave., Suite 101
San Marcos, CA 92078

Scripps Ranch – 858-578-551012036 Scripps Highland DriveSan Diego, CA 92131

Tierrasanta – 858-565-13016050 Santo Road, Suite 100San Diego, CA 92124

University City – 858-453-42204085 Governor DriveSan Diego, CA 92122

Valley Center – 760-749-565527301 Valley Center RoadValley Center, CA 92082

Vista Village – 760-941-6888744 Grand Ave., Suite 101
Vista, CA 92078

San Diego fire relief for families who have lost their homes

Posted @ 12:59 PM

Green Planet Solutions Inc has joined forces with E-world of Vista to help assist local San Diegans rebuild from the fire disaster.

How you, the public, can get involved!

Green Planet Solutions Inc. will be collecting neighborhood and local business E-waste, free of charge, during this emergency to help distribute items that can be reused by families in need. We will be scheduling door to door pickups in the below listed areas.

The E-waste will then be transferred to our facility, sorted by working and non-working items. Working items will be warehoused and distributed to families through local charities once the fire disaster has subsided. Non-working items will then be transferred to E-world of Vista for proper destruction keeping unwanted items out of the environment. This is a call to everyone in North County San Diego to help! Your unwanted items can bring families back into a normal life!

We are accepting:
Old computer systems, TVs, Monitors, Vacuums, Clock radio's, Lamps, General kitchen appliances (I.e.. Blenders, mixers, coffee makers, and other kitchen related items)Toys that are electrical in nature, DVD players, VCRs, extension cords, Car batteries ETC.... Just about anything that you would use on a daily basis that is electrical in nature.

What we do not accept: Refrigerators, Washer/Dryers, Air-conditioning units.

If you need to discard these items please go to our partner link page to find an appliance removal service near you: Click here.............

Fans and filters for seniors and families that are in need of room filtering and cooling: We are also calling for fans and room air filtering systems that are no longer of use to you. These items will assist seniors and other persons with asthma and other lung disorders to breath clean air and to stay cool during this time of need.

Please call 760-639-0672 to schedule a free pickup of your unwanted E-waste items for these areas: Oceanside, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Encinitas, Escondido, Vista

We desperately need volunteers to join our team to flyer and help get the world out into the community. Please call Mario Hinton to arrange volunteer efforts at 760-639-0672


Posted @ 12:57 PM

The San Diego Humane Society would like to thank everyone that has generously supported our efforts. We currently have all the needed supplies and are in the process of delivering them to areas in need throughout the county. We have had a tremendous outpouring of supplies donation in the last 24 hour, and additional supplies are not needed at this time.

Individuals that would still like to contribute to rescue efforts may make a financial contribution at www.sdhumane.org or call (619) 299-7012. Please check www.sdhumane.org for the most up to date information on supply needs.


Posted @ 12:42 PM

Volunteers and Materials Needed

Residents of the Westwood area of Rancho Bernardo are in need of help with cleaning their houses, removing trash, and moving back in. Westwood, located north of Rancho Bernardo Road and West of the 15, was one of the hardest hit areas in San Diego.

A coordinated effort to assist Westwood residents is being put together. While the city, state and federal agencies coordinate a separate effort for those whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the fire, this effort will be directed to Westwood residents needing significant clean up support before moving back into their homes.

San Diegans are asked to donate the following items:

Cleaning Supplies: Basic household cleaning supplies will be distributed to Westwood residents.
Trash Bags: Residents will require trash bags. Private trash hauling companies are being asked to donate trash removal throughout the afternoon and all-day Friday, October 26.
Air Purifiers: Residents need air purification systems and devices.

In addition, volunteers are needed to help individual residents clean their houses.

Anyone wishing to volunteer or donate materials for this massive cleanup effort can contact 858-503-0111 or can go directly to the on-site cleanup staging area at the Maranatha Chapel at 10752 Coastwood Road (cross street of Rancho Bernardo Road and Camino San Bernardo.)

Free shampoo/cuts for evacuees

Posted @ 10:32 AM

Sports Clips San Diego-area stores to offer free haircuts, shampoos to people in evacuation centers

- Rancho Bernardo store to re-open Thursday, Village Walk store to open Saturday, other five local outlets to open tomorrow -

San Diego County-area Sport Clips stores will offer free haircuts and shampoos to any person staying in one of the many evacuation centers in the region.

All area stores will participate, with the Rancho Bernardo outlet expecting to re-open on Thursday. Sport Clips will also have its newest store in Chula Vista’s Village Walk Shopping Center open for business on Saturday, and offering free haircuts and shampoos to people that may still be residing in evacuation centers.

The San Diego County Sport Clips stores can found at the following locations:

Escondido - 1036 West Valley Parkway Escondido, CA 92025
Del Mar - 2632 Del Mar Heights Rd Del Mar, CA 92014
Chula Vista - 2318 Proctor Valley Rd. Chula Vista, CA 91914
Clairemont - 4941 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, CA 92117
Carlsbad - 2708 Loker Ave. W. Carlsbad, CA 92010

Rancho Bernardo (open Thursday) - 15731 Bernardo Heights Pkwy. San Diego, CA 92128
Chula Vista – Village Walk (open Saturday) - 884 Eastlake ParkwayChula Vista, CA 91914

Hours of operations are:
Monday – Friday – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


SAFETY TIPS: Ash Cleanup

Posted @ 10:26 AM

Ash deposited on indoor and outdoor surfaces near the fire is relatively non-toxic and is similar to ash that might be found in your fireplace. However, any ash:
may be irritating to the skin, especially sensitive skin
will contain small amounts of cancer-causing chemicals
can be irritating to the nose and throat if breathed, and may cause coughing
may trigger asthmatic attacks in people who already have asthma.

In order to avoid possible health problems, the following is recommended:
· Do not allow children to play in the ash or with unwashed toys.
· Clean ash off house pets.
· Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants to avoid skin contact.
· If you do get ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible.
· Rinse homegrown fruit or vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
· Avoid disseminating ash into the air; do not use leaf blowers or non-HEPA filter vacuums.
· Wear well-fitting dust masks; those rated N-95 or P-100 provide better protection than simple dust or surgical masks (persons with heart or lung disease should consult a physician before using a mask).
· Gentle sweeping of indoor and outdoor hard surfaces followed by wet mopping is usually best.
· A damp cloth or wet mop may be all that is needed on lightly dusted areas; if ash is wet down, use as little water as possible
· The Regional Water Control Quality Board asks that you avoid washing ash into storm drains if possible.
· Collected ash may be disposed of in your regular trash collection. Ash may be stored in plastic bags or other containers that will prevent it from being disturbed.

Ash and any debris inside burned structures may contain more toxic substances than forest fire ash because of the many synthetic and other materials present in buildings, requiring a cautious approach. Older buildings in particular may contain asbestos and lead.

-- N. Ossola, San Diego County

Free counseling offered

Posted @ 9:52 AM

We have a growing list of therapists/counselors that are ready and willing to offer immediate support to those affected by the fires:


Please help us to get this message out! We know this service is needed.

-- A. Zakrewski

S.A.F.E. is here to help!

Posted @ 9:22 AM

We all have been living through a trying time in San Diego with the wildfires, but there could be members of our advertising community who have been left homeless by this devastation.

The San Diego Advertising Fund for Emergencies (SAFE) is available for help for anyone who needs emergency, short term support while they try to rebuild their lives. If you or someone you know in the advertising industry has lost a home or business, please contact us at 858-576-9838 or e-mail info@aboutsafe.org for further information.

If you do not need help, a donation at this time to S.A.F.E. could make a big difference for someone in our community.We thank you and appreciate any support you can give to S.A.F.E.

Free insurance policies offered

Posted @ 8:30 AM

My name is Michael Droz and I am the CEO of the Seattle based start up, Munio Memory Services.

I am contacting you to let you know about our initiative to help families in SoCal affected by the wild fires. We're offering 500 free Memory Insurance policies to SoCal residents and donating $25.00 to the LA Times Family Fund and KTLA Charities Fire Relief Campaign for each Memory Insurance policy sold in the state of California over the next 30 days.

Please read our press release here:
Regards,Michael Droz

Hay shortage: Donations needed

Posted @ 8:12 AM

Ranches in the Tijuana River Valley (Imperial Beach/Nestor) have taken in hundreds of evacuated horses, but now we're facing a hay shortage.

The ranch where I work (Sun Coast Farms at 2550 Monument Rd) is going through 50+ bales a day...there are a dozen other ranches in the area in the same boat. Truckloads of hay coming from the Imperial Valley have been unable to get through this week, and several area feed stores have burned in the fires.

If you have bermuda or alfalfa available, or know someone who does, please email me!

Delivered would definitely be best, but we can send a truck & trailer if all the roads are open to get there. We'd GREATLY appreciate donations to offset the cost of hundreds of additional mouths to feed. Please contact Emma Spurling, 619-252-4485 or Maria Siebrand,
619-865-9614 (vaquera@san.rr.com ).

We are also accepting cash donations (and can accept donations via PayPal to vaquer@san.rr.com)...anything we don't need in the Valley will be contributed to Wee Companions, a non- profit run by one of our boarders here at the ranch that rescues small companion animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs etc. At this time, they have taken in over 300 evacuated critters!

Thank you for helping us get the word out!
Maria Siebrand

Pet-friendly rentals for evacuees

Posted @ 8:09 AM

As you may or may not know, finding a rental with a pet in Southern California is an extremely difficult task. With this realization, I have created a free website that is dedicated to finding rentals for people who have pets and have been forced to move due to the fire.

The site is www.PetFriendlyRentals.ORG

I'm requesting your assistance in getting the word out that this service exists. Please mention it on your program.

Again, it's a totally free site dedicated to the pet owner who is seeking a long term rental.

We are also compiling a list of pet related service providers who, if they would like, can be listed on our site.

Thanks in advance.

Hoping that You and Yours are safe & sound,
The Crew at www.PetFriendlyRentals.ORG

Restaurants helping out

Posted @ 8:02 AM

Several businesses do their part to help fire relief for victims of the San Diego County fires. Please see below for a few food service providers doing their part:

Go out to eat, raise money for San Diego Red Cross

Who: Fresh [er]

Fresh-er is located in downtown La Jolla

1044 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA 92037


What: Fresh[er] will be donating 10% of revenue through the month of October to the San Diego Red Cross to support their efforts to help San Diegan’s in need. So every bite and every sip of great food and great wine goes a long! Please contact Fresh-er at 858-551-7575 or visit www.fresh-er.com.

Funds from canceled party go to feed more than 2,500 evacuees

Who: TK&A Custom Catering
9558 Camino Ruiz, San Diego, CA 92126

What: Thursday, October 25, 2007, TK&A will be at Escondido High School to feed nearly 600 people. The catering company is working with the Red Cross to determine locations in need of hot meals. The law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish generously donated the funds of their cancelled event to be used by TK&A to feed fire victims. TK&A plans to feed 2,500 people in the next few days.

Picnic People feed lunches to firefighters

Who: Picnic People
9558 Camino Ruiz, San Diego, CA 92126

What: Picnic People catering has fed thousands of lunches and dinners to firefighters in Scripps Ranch. Big production lines have been put in place in their kitchen to assemble and then crews are driving to established sites to do the “feedings”.

-- L. Tait

SD Fire Donation Help from Restaurants on the Run

Posted @ 7:57 AM

Restaurants on the Run is delivering lunch donated from Claim Jumper restaurants to the Red Cross Volunteer Office on Calle Fortunada in San Diego.

Restaurants on the Run is also offering to use its delivery network to help deliver any donated food/water/products to the shelters, command posts or front lines. Please contact Doug Childers at dchilders@rotr.com for more information.

Restaurants on the Run has resumed regular hours for delivery/catering to all areas in San Diego, except for parts of the East county where roads are still closed.

Thank you,

Douglas Childers, Marketing Director

Restaurants on the Run | www.ROTR.com

Latest story, map

Posted @ 12:13 AM

Here's our latest overview story on the fires.

And here's an interactive map that includes a partial list of the destroyed houses.

County officials said they are providing updates on the ongoing disaster assessments on the county's emergency page.

- Tom Mallory

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finding people in chaotic times

Posted @ 11:33 PM

Need help finding someone who may be affected by the fires? There are plenty of resources at your disposal.

Thanks to LATimes.com, we have a search engine you can use to look for missing loved ones or post an update about yourself.

In addition, the American Red Cross also has created a Safe and Well site to connect displaced friends and family.

There's also a thread about this in SignOn's forums for people trying to find out if friends and family are safe.

- Craig Gustafson

Need help with a pet?

Posted @ 11:12 PM

The American Kennel Club is asking that anyone who needs assistance with their pet as a result of the fires to call the California School of Dog Grooming in San Marcos at 1-800-949-3746.

The school, located at 633 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd., has many donated supplies and a list of volunteers willing to take in animals.

- Craig Gustafson

Help for UCSD community

Posted @ 11:03 PM

The University of California San Diego is trying to ease the impact of the fires on its faculty, staff and students.

The school has created a hotline -- (858) 534-5523 -- for those who have lost their homes. Those people could be in line for an emergency loan of up to $3,000 the school is offering until Nov. 30. The loan would be interest-free for 12 months.

The school is also pushing the due date for current student bills to Oct. 31.

- Craig Gustafson

Episcopal Diocese sets up relief fund

Posted @ 9:47 PM

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has established a 2007 Fire Relief Fund for the long-term recovery of fire victims.

Donations can be made online at www.edsd.org or sent to the diocese at 2728 6th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103.

The diocese is also collecting gift cards to Target, K-Mart, Walmart, and JC Penney to be distributed to people who have lost property. Gift cards can be sent to the above address.

Red Cross opens more shelters

Posted @ 9:16 PM

The American Red Cross has opened three additional shelters. They are:
- Mount Miguel High School, 8585 Blossom Ln., Spring Valley.
- The Rock Church (for special needs evacuees), 2277 Rosecrans St., San Diego.
- Poway Community Park, 13094 Civic Center Dr., Poway.

Humane Society seeks donations

Posted @ 8:47 PM

The San Diego Humane Society is seeking donations -- from cash to cat litter -- as it strives to provide aid to displaced animals from the wildfires.

Financial contributions can be made online at www.sdhumane.org or by calling (619) 299-7012. Items can be dropped off at its 5500 Gaines Street campus in San Diego.

The group is asking for crates (to store animals), exercise pens, cat litter, halters or lead ropes for livestock, leashes, collars, and tents for shade. No pet food is needed at this time.

- Craig Gustafson

Fleet Week events postponed

Posted @ 8:35 PM

Fleet Week San Diego organizers have postponed Navy Day, which had been scheduled for Saturday at Liberty Station. The rescheduled date has yet to be determined.

The event included a 9 a.m. pancake breakfast for all active military personnel and a flag-raising ceremony.

More information is available here.

- Nicole Reino

Farmers Insurance sets up claims centers

Posted @ 4:52 PM

Farmers Insurance and Foremost Insurance companies have 9 mobile claims centers for customers to file on-the-spot claims, located throughout Southern California.

In San Diego, customers can receive help at the following locations:

· Mira Mesa High School, 10510 Regan Road, San Diego, CA
· San Marco High School, 1615 W. San Marcos Blvd, San Diego, CA
· Mission High School, San Diego, CA
· Escondido High School, San Diego, CA
· Carlsbad High School, San Diego, CA
· Del Mar Fairgrounds

The Farmers Mobile Catastrophe Claims Center Bus is currently stationed at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. It is a rolling customer support center equipped with top-of-the-line technology for immediate claims handling.

Other locations of Farmers mobile claims centers include:
· NOS Events Center, 689 South E Street ,San Bernadino.
· Chula Vista High School, Chula Vista.

Farmers has more than 400 claims adjusters in Southern California to assist victims of the fires. Farmers advises its customers affected by any of the wildfires from San Diego to Los Angeles and anywhere else these fire spread, to immediately contact Farmers’ 24 hour claims hotline, 800-HelpPoint (1-800-435-7764) for immediate assistance.

As of Wednesday Oct. 24, Farmers has received more than 2,000 claims. Foremost Insurance, one of the Farmers’ companies, has received more than 500 claims resulting from the fires and winds.

Farmers is the second largest homeowners insurer in California.

Hot meals at Escondido High School

Posted @ 4:22 PM

TK&A Custom Catering will be at Escondido High School Thursday night (October 25) to prepare hot meals for more than 600 evacuees. More locations to be determined soon.

Law firm of Cooley, Goward, Kronish has canceled an event booked with TK&A Custom Catering and allowed TK&A to use the funds to feed fire victims. TK&A will be working with the Red Cross find locations where meals can be delivered. TK&A Custom Catering has the capacity to provide meals for 2,500 people.

TK&A Custom Catering Contact:
858-444-8822, http://www.tka-catering.com/

-- L. Tait

Corporations rising to the challenge

Posted @ 3:59 PM

The following corporations have donated $1 million to the wildfire relief effort:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Target
  • Bank of America

Other business organizations are also contributing:

  • CVS Pharmacy: #300,000 in supplies
  • Blue Cross : $50,000 to Red Cross
  • Comerica Bank: $100,000
  • Chevron: $500,000

Source: PR Newswire

Direct donations

Posted @ 3:45 PM

Here is a partial list of Web sites where you can make direct donations online:

Network for Good (choose your designated recipient):

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html

SmartRaise.com is donating a percentage of purchases made though their site: http://www.smartraise.com/california

Source: PR Newswire

Other online direct donation sites:

Salvation Army:

San Diego Humane Society (http://www.sdhumane.org) is accepting donations for animals affected by the wildfires:


Supplies needed at El Cajon horse camp

Posted @ 3:04 PM

The horse camp set up for evacuees at the Gillespie Field Airport is still
in need of supplies, including:
-- Hoof picks
-- 50 to 100 gallon containers to store water
-- 40 gallon plastic trash cans
-- 5 gallon buckets
-- Food for horse
-- Volunteers who have experience handling horses, preferably 10 years or

The horse camp is located at Weld Boulevard and Cuyamaca Street. For more
information on supplies needed, call (619) 944-8425. People who want to
volunteer their time can call David Pope, site coordinator, at (858) 525-3814.

-- L. Neely

Free coffee for evacuees at Bondi downtown San Diego

Posted @ 2:59 PM

If you want to let your readers know….Bondi is offering a free coffee to all evacuees. So if they need a place to hang out, stay awake or just something to do , they can come down to Bondi for a great Aussie coffee!

Bondi bar and kitchen 333 Fifth Avenue (between J and K) in the Gaslamp Quarter (619) 342-0212 sandiego@thebondi.com www.myspace.com/BondiSandiego

Coronado donation collections today, Thursday

Posted @ 2:28 PM

The City of Coronado will accept donations until 7 p.m. today for fire emergency relief at the Coronado Community Center, 1845 Strand Way.

Collected items such as nonperishable food, bottled water, paper products, diapers, hand sanitzer and toiletry kits and will be delivered to the Chula Vista High School Evacuation Site.

The city will not accept blankets, bedding and sleeping bags, as these items are being provided.

The city also will collect tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the community center. Details for a planned collection Thursday have not yet been finalized.

For information, call (619) 522-2633.

Available Rentals for Fire Evacuees

Posted @ 1:52 PM

The following is a comprehensive list of available rentals by region and price:


the bentley/nuvilla group
3017 canon street san diego ca 92106
650 218 0091
fax 650 475 3975
nuvilla.com (beta)

Benefit dinner at The Fleetwood, downtown San Diego

Posted @ 1:39 PM

Downtown San Diego restaurant and bar The Fleetwood will host a benefit this Thursday, October 25th in support of the four heroic firefighters who were injured this week while trying to save a father and his 15-year-old son from the Harris fire that continues to burn San Diego's east county.

The Fleetwood will donate a portion of its proceeds on Thursday October 25th to the families of Cal Fire Engine #3387 and the Varshock family. Beginning at 4:00 p.m., the restaurant will serve a three-course dinner for $30.00 and will offer drink specials throughout the night. A donation box will be available for patrons to contribute additional donations and a Red Cross representative will be on hand to collect non-perishable items, blankets and clothing for evacuees.

According to reports, the four firefighters were seriously injured while attempting to save 52-year-old Portero resident Thomas Varshock and his teenage son, Richard. Richard and the firefighters were saved in a daring airlift rescue and remain hospitalized. Sadly, Thomas Varchock, who friends describe as a family man, did not survive.

The Fleetwood is located at 639 J Street and is on the corner of 7th & J Streets in downtown San Diego. For additional information, please go to http://www.blogger.com/www.thefleetwood.com or call 619-702-7700.

Free vet care for SD pets affected by fires

Posted @ 1:36 PM

Mission Gorge Animal Hospital is offering FREE veterinary care (and meds) for SD cats and dogs with fire-related illnesses/ailments from 10/24/07 to Friday 10/26/07.

Misson Gorge Animal Hospital is at 6690 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego, CA 92120 and their phone number is 619/280-1503.

Cross posting permitted and encouraged - get the word out!

Architectural services for rebuilding

Posted @ 1:30 PM

Four years ago I assisted Isam Hassinen (Chief Building Official) of the City of San Diego in providing free consulting to victims of the Cedar fire. I assisted fire victims in the difficult task of rebuilding their homes. I would like to provide this service again to anyone needing direction of how to get their homes rebuilt. Feel free to contact me anytime

Stosh Podeswik A.I.A.

Stosh Thomas Architects PC
5115 Jackson Drive
La Mesa, Ca. 91941
cell: 619-246-9044
email: stosh@stoshthomas.com

Hotel availability and discounted rates for evacuees

Posted @ 1:07 PM

Coachella Valley

La Quinta Resort Leasing
800-388-1926 or 760-777-4880
We are dog and cat friendly and are waiving pet cleaning fees for evacuees. The Coachella Valley offers many options for stabling horses as well.

Del Mar

L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
(800) 553-1336 or (858) 259-1515
Offering evacuees rooms at up to half off their normal rates and highly discounted buffet meal service, providing complimentary rooms to exhausted firefighters and city officials actively involved on the emergency response team, and housing displaced employees and their families. They have also set up a special kids space where children can play, watch movies, and enjoy games and kid-friendly snacks.

La Jolla

Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa
(858) 550-1000
Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa has established a special evacuee rate of $99 per night. The hotel is also providing specially priced buffet meals in their Adobe El Restaurant for those displaced by the wildfires. Additionally, the hotel is offering assistance to emergency personnel and their families, providing 16 complimentary rooms. Estancia La Jolla will continue this pricing as needed throughout the week.

Rancho Bernardo

RB Radisson
This all-suite hotel is offering special discounted rates for evacuees. Rates include breakfast and parking.

Chabad providing food and shelter

Posted @ 12:47 PM

Chabad of Downtown has opened its doors to serve as a relief center during the wildfires. Chabad is providing food and shelter to all those in need.

We are currently putting together a list of the Jewish families that have been affected by the Wildfires in order to serve all.

If you or anyone you know is in need, please call us at 619-702-8518 or 619-301-7450.

To volunteer your time and/or resources, please call Rabbi Carlebach directly at 619-301-7450.

Please visit our website www.ChabadDowntown.com for more information and photos.

Rabbi Zalman Carlebach
Chabad of Downtown
472 Third Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-8518

El Cajon Evacuee Center

Posted @ 12:45 PM

I am writing on behalf of the El Cajon Apostolic Church on 3rd Avenue in El Cajon. Hundreds of evacuees of Ramona and surrounding areas have sought refuge here, with more people still coming. Many items are in dire need. Things like cots and blankets are very limited. Many people have just been sleeping on the benches of the church. Other things in need are woman's and children's undergarments, depends and toiletries. There are many children present and we are in need of formula, water, diapers, wipes, and toys. Anything else people can bring would be very much appreciated.
If you could please get the word out.

San Diego is in our payers.
God Bless,
Veronica Contreras

Contact Information:
Daniel Contreras
(619) 921-3324
Veronica Contreras
(619) 829-2967

El Cajon Apostolic Church
512 South 3rd Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92020

Red Cross Safe and Well List

Posted @ 12:35 PM

You can register with the Red Cross "Safe and Well" list to let friends and family know you are all right during this disaster.


FEMA assistance

Posted @ 12:16 PM


Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Bush’s major disaster declaration issued for California.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

· Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

· Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

· Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)

· Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)

· Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $1.5 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

· Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $1.5 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

· Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and agriculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)

· Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

· Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

· Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

· Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

· Those in the counties designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24hours a day Monday through Sunday until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, and phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

· Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.