UPDATE: Wildfires are continuing to sweep through Southern California and our brothers and sisters are working to rebuild in regions devastated by the wildfires that swept Northern California this fall.
Below are resources for victims of wildfires and ways folks can help those affected.
We will continue to update this page as we hear more. Please send any information you’d like to see included on this page to firstname.lastname@example.org
On this page:
- Union funds for victims of wildfires
- How you can help
- Additional resources for communities and individuals
- Union members stepping up to help – inspirational stories
- Support from the Tri-Counties Labor Council: If you’ve lost your home and/or been displaced, click here to let us know and apply for assistance: https://goo.gl/uYQpyr
- Support from the Los Angeles Labor Federation – If you, or someone you know, are in need basic needs support – including housing, food, or connection to others services, please contact Margarita at Margarita@theLAFED.org
- If you work in performing arts and entertainment and have been impacted by the actorsfund.org/GetHelp provide emergency financial assistance and referrals to area resources. Visit
- From SEIU Local 721: “As always, SEIU 721 is here for you. No matter what region you work or live in, members with questions about benefits and services available to them should not hesitate to call Member Connection at (877) 721-4YOU for the most accurate, up-to-date information.”
- Farm workers worried about laboring in the smoke or needing help asserting their rights on the job can call the UFW Oxnard office at 805-486-9674. Community members seeking help with unemployment insurance or safety-net assistance and potential future disaster relief can speak with UFW Foundation staff at 805-246-3867. People can also go in person to the UFW/UFW Foundation office at 920 “A” St., Oxnard, Calif. 93030.
Other funds, including assistance for folks affected by Northern California wildfires:
- SEIU Local 1021 Disaster Relief Fund for Members Affected by North Bay Fires
- California Teachers Association Disaster Relief Fund
- Teamsters Local 856 Solidarity Fund for members affected by the fires
- Fund for Firefighters who’ve lost their homes in the Sonoma and Napa firestorm of 2017, managed by IAFF Local 1775
- ESC Local 20 North Bay Fire Relief Fund for members who lost their homes
- UFCW 8-Golden State Disaster Relief Fund for California Fire Victims
- CFT California Wildfire Disaster Relief Fund
- Disaster Relief Assistance and Information for CWA District 9 Wildfire Victims
- IBEW Local 1245 Wildfire Relief Fund for members who lost their homes
- IAM Disaster Relief Fund
- California Nurses Association Disaster Relief Fund
- For CSEA members who are fire victims: Apply for assistance
- From the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council: Over 790 structures have been lost, and many union households have been devastated. We haven’t yet learned the scope of the damage but the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council is working with our entire union community to make sure that we can help our brothers and sisters when they need it most.
- Please DONATE to the Thomas Fire Worker Relief Fund. Checks payable to: Labor Community Services. Memo line: Disaster Relief Fund. Send to: 816 Camarillo Springs Road, Suite G, Camarillo, CA 93012
- 100% of every penny collected will go directly to assist those union members who’ve lost homes to the Thomas Fire. Contributions are tax deductible.
- From the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor: Donate to the Disaster Relief Fund – Contribute to the “Disaster Relief Fund.” Checks payable to: Labor Community Services. Memo Line: Disaster Relief Fund, Address: 2130 W. James M. Wood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90006
- Donate to the the North Bay Labor Council and the Napa/Solano Labor Council joint emergency relief fund to help folks affected by the fires. Donate online here.
- Contributions can also be sent to: Union Members Emergency Relief Fund. Send to: 2525 Cleveland Ave, Suite A, Santa Rosa 95403
- Donate: Fund for Firefighters who’ve lost their homes in the Sonoma and Napa firestorm of 2017, managed by IAFF Local 1775
- Donate: IBEW Local 1245 Wildfire Relief Fund
- CSEA working to help members impacted by wildfires: Donate to members in need
- UndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County will provide direct assistance to undocumented victims of the Northern California fires. One hundred percent of all donations will go to victim support.
Southern California wildfires:
In the aftermath of spontaneous disasters, many generous community members step up to help those in need around them. One of the challenges after a catastrophe strikes is mobilizing those caring citizens so they can effectively help their neighbors and neighborhoods. In order to best engage spontaneous volunteers during a disaster, United Way, the Red Cross, and the Sheriff’s Department are collaborating so that community members can volunteer easily and be directed to the City and County departments or community-based organizations where their volunteering will have the most impact.
In the aftermath of a disaster, United Way’s Ventura County Volunteer Center will serve as an online, call, and walk-in center for spontaneous volunteers. The Volunteer Center will register volunteers and coordinate with the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services to place them where they can do the most good for the community. 2-1-1 Ventura County will also be available 24/7 to register volunteers, answer questions, and connect those in need with the resources to help them.
UPDATE: Southern California wildfires: If you or someone you know is out of harm’s way and in need of assistance: Please call 2-1-1 or text thomasfire to 898-211 to get connected and get answers.
- On working in dangerous air conditions: “workers in California have the right to refuse dangerous work. If you believe the air is bad enough to present a real and apparent hazard, and your employer offers no significant protection against the hazard, such as an N95/P95 mask, you have the right to tell your employer that you won’t work.” More information on that here: Important information for workers in areas affected by wildfires
- Cal/OSHA Issues Advisory for Worker Safety in Wildfire Regions (10/13/17)
- Disaster Relief for Immigrants Guide
- October 2017 Wildfires Disaster and Emergency Response and Recovery Tool Kit from Department of Social Services
- Emergency wifi: Open air waves for user name “Guest”
- KSRO radio has live updates: http://www.ksro.com/
- Sonoma County Fire Information: Go to Nixle.com or text 888777 with your zip code to get updates on evacuations and new shelters opening
- The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website has a list of all fire-fighting grants, shelters and updates here
- Evacuation Shelter Info: https://srcity.org/610/Emergency-Information
- Large Animal Evacuation: Santa Rosa Fairgrounds and Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds (Petaluma)
- Road and Traffic Info: http://roadconditions.sonoma-county.org/
- The California Department of Insurance has a guide to working with insurance companies and information here
- Apply for assistance from FEMA here
- Red Cross is coordinating with FEMA in running shelters with food, here is their list of open shelters
- People can list themselves s safe and Well on the Red Cross “Safe and Well” website, in addition to Facebook
- Information on how to file for disaster unemployment insurance here
- More on Unemployment Insurance from our friends at NELP: The Governor’s emergency declaration waives the UI waiting week in California for those who are unemployed as a direct result of the recent fires in Northern California (see below), which is very helpful because many folks may end up just collecting a week or two of benefits before they get back to work. We’re also waiting to hear whether the federal government will declare a “major disaster” in response to any of the California fires, which would then mean that workers who don’t qualify for state UI (including the self-employed) can collect federally-funded Disaster Unemployment Assistance (by way of background, here are our Hurricane Harvey and Irma facts sheets on the DUA program).
Union Members in the News
- IAFF Responds to Devastating California Wildfires
- She flew to Puerto Rico to aid relief efforts. Then she found out her home was in the path of a wildfire, LA Times