How Emergency Responders In Southern California Got The Supplies They Needed

How did a community in California get the supplies its first responders needed in the aftermath of wildfires and mudslides? Learn more in this success story.



Deadly wildfires and mudslides hit California

In the fall of 2017, a series of wind-driven wildfires scorched hundreds of thousands of acres and damaged and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses across multiple counties in California. The Thomas Fire was the largest recorded fire in the state’s history, and the devastation continued when mudslides, filled with debris from the fire, swept through Montecito, a community in Santa Barbara County, with deadly consequences.


Situationally appropriate medical aid and supplies

In partnership with Facebook, the Disaster Recovery Team at GlobalGiving facilitated grants to support Direct Relief’s response to the devastating Montecito Mudslides. Direct Relief was able to provide specifically requested medical aid, supplies, and financial support to neighborhoods in need.

Direct Relief equipped emergency responders with rugged UTV vehicles and search and rescue gear. Direct Relief also provided grants for agencies to purchase other emergency gear, including dry suits, headlamps, harnesses and cables, and helmets. A specially equipped off-road truck and trailer was also procured for the Montecito Fire Department to transport the UTVs. Direct Relief helped strengthen public health efforts by providing the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department with several thousand doses of tetanus and hepatitis-A vaccine, as well as other medical items to administer vaccinations to protect first responders, cleanup workers, and residents in Montecito.

Unfortunately, communities often receive in-kind donations after a disaster that hinder, rather than help, relief efforts. That’s why this success story is so remarkable! Learn more about why direct grants and cash are best after a disaster in this infographic.


Homeowners are getting the support they need, too

Direct Relief continues to support community groups, providing supplies for safe clean-up and recovery. The nonprofit is providing funding support for the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, which has mobilized hundreds of volunteers to assist homeowners with mud removal and clean up from their homes.

Their team is also distributing cash assistance to victims, disbursing an initial commitment of $500,000 from the 1/9 Victims Fund—a distinct fund established by Direct Relief for the sole purpose of providing direct financial assistance to people affected by the Montecito mudslides.

The Disaster Recovery Team at GlobalGiving has advanced a model of community-led relief and recovery since 2004.

Direct Relief also turned to GlobalGiving to raise funds to improve healthcare across the United States, a project which is shown in the featured photo. Photo by Direct Relief.

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