, 55 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
Dear #California: Need updates on the fires? Text 888777 with your zip code & follow @CAL_FIRE. #napafire #sonomafire #cafire
Want push notifications? Register with Nixle (local.nixle.com/register/) or find your local emergency management's custom notification opt-in.
FAQ on resources, information, and ways to help for the Northern California fires in FB-sharable format: facebook.com/mika.mckinnon/…
Q: How can I drive out of this mess?
Road closures info:
Napa: gis.napa.ca.gov/Html5Viewer/In…
Sonoma: roadconditions.sonoma-county.org
Q: Where do I flee?
@ABC7 is maintaining a full list of evacuation centers (& assorted closures). Go local news! abc7news.com/full-list-nort…
Q: How do I help?
Volunteer or donate.

As medical centers evacuated, donating blood is also helpful. (All types, but especially O-)
Q: How do I volunteer?
Volunteer via Red Cross (redcross.org/volunteer/volu… or 707-577-7600), CVNL (cvnl.org/volunteerism/e…), or local groups
PLEASE register to volunteer. It's legal protection, is most efficient, provides training, & prevents you from accidentally causing harm.
Q: How do I opt in for emergency notifications?
Check with local emergency management office. In California, it's mostly Nixel or Everbridge
Bay Area opt-in emergency notification:
SF: alertsf.org
Berkeley: warnme.berkeley.edu
Marin: alertmarin.org
More Bay Area opt-in emergency notification systems:
Napa: local.nixle.com/register/
Sonoma: public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/BF70…
Q: I use a smartphone. What apps will help me prepare for emergencies?
A: Download the FEMA app! In California, also grab CalFire app.
Q: How do I donate?
DONATE MONEY. Material goods require logistical work to sort & deliver, often hindering efficiency. Local NGOs are best.
Q: Should I worry about air quality?
Ash (rising PM2.5 counts) aggravates respiratory systems. Try to stay indoors. Masks are rarely useful*
* Most masks can't filter out small particles & they usually aren't put on properly. The result is heavy breathing, thus inhaling ash deeper
If you're a vulnerable population (elderly, child, pregnant, existing respiratory condition), try retreating to a library or mall.
Q: Why are fires spreading so fast?
SoCal has Santa Ana & NorCal has Diablo winds. Inland high pressure drives strong winds through canyons
Prolonged drought & end of summer dry season aren't helping: Lots of dry grass & vegetation make easy fuel for flames.
The new normal sucks.
Q: How can I prevent fires?
>50% of NAm fires are human-caused from unextinguished campfires, tossed cigs, hot cars on dry grass, or sparks.
Q: How can I protect my home from fires?
Declutter & clear vegetation: readyforwildfire.org
Learn via gaming: stopdisastersgame.org/en/
Nearby forests are great (& their moisture can inhibit fire). Trees touching your roof roof & bushes brushing your home are hazardous.
Q: How can I personally prepare?
1. Learn local hazards.
2. Make plans.
3. Pack kits.
4. Practice.
In disaster management, $1 in prevention saves $10 in response.
The same holds for people: A few minutes now will save you stress later.
Disaster preparedness is not an All or Nothing situation. Do what you feel like you can now. Do a little more later. Every bit helps.
Check local emergency management office to volunteer. Keyword in CA is usually Neighbourhood Emergency Response team or program (NERT/NERP)
The Bay Area made enormous efforts to develop truly excellent emergency response volunteer training. It's better than most staff training.
Q: What about the SoCal Anaheim fires?
Opt-in notifications: member.everbridge.net/index/89280773…
See also: @OrangeCountyEOC @AnaheimFire
Communications notes:
1. Sonoma County's website keeps going down.
2. Many regional cell towers are destroyed, creating service deadspots.
If one communication method fails, try another (and another, and another). Designate out-of-area contacts to spread word you're safe.
Locals: ~20k people are under evacuation orders. Let friends know you can shelter, register to billet at evac centers, or offer via AirB&B
Locals: Pets are displaced. Contact SPCA & Humane Societies to offer fostering.
Emergency vet care? RedRover grants: redrover.org/relief/
Livestock is a BIG problem during rural fires like this. Have space for a herd? Reach out to local animal rescue: readyforwildfire.org/Animal-Evacuat…
Better source for road closures:
And the FEMA-vetted list of official sources so you don't RT fake news into already bad days:
Tiny breath of good news: Many @CAL_FIRE updates describe increasing containment (several 100%); few growing quickly
Air Quality is crap today. Monitor on @AIRNow: airnow.gov/index.cfm?acti… Try to stay inside & minimize exposure. Masks usually harm more.
Q: Why don't masks help?
For fires, big concern is ash (PM2.5). Most masks can't filter, poor fit renders useless.
It takes a N95 mask to filter out particles, fitted to sit fully against your skin (no beard hair!). Any gap renders it useless-to-harmful.
Dear California: I love you, but DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY INTO DISASTER ZONES. Please help through response structures like evac centers & NGOs.
Donate cash. Donate blood. If you're near an evac center, see if they're asking for specific goods. Details: sfgate.com/local/amp/how-…
If you want to donate time, Red Cross is coordinating: 707-577-7600 or redcross.org/volunteer/volu…
Or find local NGO with existing relationship.
Local organizations have existing ties with emergency response. They're in communication, they have a role, they know what to do. Help them.
Self-deploying into a disaster creates another moving piece to manage, duplicates effort, & puts you in danger. Help through NGOs. Please?
Aside: I really appreciate that @Cal_Fire consistently adds photo credit watermarks prior to posting.
Worried about pets? @RedRoverOrg compiled resources: redrover.org/news/resources…
Their grants help injured pets (apply or donate at same link)
Hey California? Your fire danger is so high, you don't want to look angrily at grass for fear of generating sparks.
Erika is running a great coverage-thread of the California fires press conference.
Reminder: After first 24hrs of chaos, DONATE CASH. Materials have too much logistical overhead to sort & distribute.
This is a solid-actionable list of ways to help survivors of the California North Bay fires: pressdemocrat.com/news/7512190-1…
Reminder: Use a tightly-fitted N95 mask to filter ash particles, or nothing. Inadequate or poorly-fit masks are useless-to-harmful.
N99&N100 masks work, but are harder to find. N95 masks filter out 95% of small particles (PM2.5 ash). N99 filters 99%, N100 filters 100%
The rest of the US should be grateful smoke is blowing offshore so they're not choking on California burning:
Wind + Fire = yet more rough days ahead for North Bay:
That's a lot of displaced people.
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