Where: Throughout Alameda
What: Considered to be one of the most destructive natural disasters in California history, the Northern California wildfire has destroyed at least 42 lives and 5700 homes. Countless lives have been ruined and family homes have been burnt to the ground. Entire cities, like Calistoga, have been evacuated. The impact has spread across the Bay Area, with tens of thousands of Northern Californians displaced and toxic smoke darkening our skies for the past few weeks.
A series of unfortunate events preceded the Tubbs, Atlas, and the Redwood/Potter fires. Strong winds and neglected vegetation around powerlines culminated in what many refer to as a "firestorm." A prime culprit in the fires is the huge energy company, PG&E, infamous for endangering lives through negligence surrounding waste disposal, power line maintenance, and more. To find out more, click here.
Though it is unlikely the company will accept full responsibility for yet another preventable catastrophe, the community has risen to the occasion. Firefighters and volunteers from across the globe have been working around the clock to put down fires, assist with evacuations, and help those in need.
If you are in Alameda and want to help, you're in luck! In a city known for community involvement, the following businesses have been running drives:
Food Shift Kitchen
St. George Spirits
Fire and Police stations are currently accepting donations. They are looking for gloves, masks, tents, pillows, sleeping pads, water, non-perishable food, personal-hygiene products, phone chargers, pillows, diapers, kids' clothes, can openers, pet food, and kids' games.
Alameda Fire Station No. 1
2401 Encinal Ave · (510) 337-2210
Alameda Fire Station No. 2
635 Pacific Ave · (510) 337-2100
Alameda Fire Station No. 3
1625 Buena Vista Ave · (510) 337-2230
Alameda Police Department
1555 Oak Street | 510-337-8340
Alameda Elk's Lodge and Alameda Eagles have also joined forces for the first time to organize the ‘Alameda Coming Together Benefit Concert' for October 29th from 11AM to 7PM. Those interested should contact the organizations here and here. The Lodge will also be accepting donations from October 23rd to October 27th, noon to 6. If you are out of the Bay Area but wish to help, this link provides a list of GoFundMes. Funds are desperately needed, so every dollar helps!
IMAGE FROM GOFUNDME.COM
In the meantime, Alameda residents are encouraged to spare their lungs as fumes contain toxic chemicals. Though the air seems clearer now than it seemed a few days ago, air-pollution rates have still never been so high. Seniors and sensitive groups are encouraged to stay at home; everyone else should minimize time spent outdoors and shut their windows. Everyone is called to "spare the air." This means driving less; burning no wood; and not barbecuing food.
Finally, the efforts of firefighters and volunteers seem to be paying off. While the flames begin to die down, we are all called to join forces as a community and remember those who we lost and fight for those who have lost everything.