In November 2018, California was hit by the deadliest wildfires in its history. Camp Fire, in Butte County, northern California, tore through around 150,000 acres of land. There are currently, reportedly, more than 80 fatalities with nearly 700 people still missing. The town of Paradise, California, was completely decimated; its residents were forced to evacuate to temporary accommodation, including tent cities and shelters in Chico, on the edge of the affected area.
In partnership with local partners and community groups, IsraAID deployed an Emergency Response Team to Chico, California. The team will distribute urgent relief supplies and support community resilience-building. The team will operate a Child Friendly Space to provide a safe environment for affected children, and relief for families in the local community. IsraAID's mental health professionals will establish an environment where youth can express themselves and begin processing their feelings.
The first few days of a disaster are crucial towards minimizing its long-term destructive effects. Beyond that, as part of IsraAID's emphasis on long-term recovery, the team will engage with local partners to build a longer-term recovery strategy, focusing on psycho-social tools. IsraAID has extensive experience responding to disasters in the United States and currently has an emergency response team on-the-ground in Florida, helping families affected by Hurricane Michael return to their homes.