The Sonoma Sun reaches out in support to the community of San Bruno and its families, rocked on Thursday evening by a natural gas line explosion and resulting fire that killed at least one person and destroyed 53 homes.
Listed below are a number of relief agencies available to help:
Help for affected residents through the American Red Cross:
Red Cross teams are supporting an evacuation center and two shelters in San Bruno as well as providing food, shelter and crisis counseling services for affected families.
The shelters and evacuation center are located at:
- The Veterans Memorial Recreation Center at 251 City Park Way in San Bruno.
- The senior center adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center.
- The evacuation center is located at Bayhill Shopping Center in San Bruno.
Any residents affected by the fire may contact 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) for assistance.
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by the donations of time and money by people in the Bay Area. Those who are interested in helping residents affected by home fires and other local emergencies should call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY or visit www.redcrossbayarea.org.
Blood Centers of the Pacific issued an emergency appeal for blood donations, particularly of Type O negative, to replenish the supply depleted by those injured in Thursday’s explosion and fire in San Bruno.
Interested people in Sonoma and Mendocino County should contact Blood Bank of the Redwoods at 545-1222 or www.bbr.org to donate blood. In the San Francisco Bay area, people can call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment to donate blood or go online to www.redcrossbayarea.org and click on the blood services link. In Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, Red Cross does not handle blood donations.
For those who have been in contact with loved ones in San Bruno, the best way to share information about their well-being is to register them with the Red Cross Safe and Well website.
- People can register on the Safe and Well website at www.redcross.org/safeandwell
- Those who do not have Internet access can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register loved ones. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
- The information posted on the Safe and Well website will let other loved ones know about the well-being of those affected by this disaster.
- Concerned family members who know the person’s phone number (home, cell or work) or a complete home address can search for messages posted about their loved ones.
Members of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) are available to provide free financial counseling services to victims of the San Bruno fire.
Fire victims can call (800) 922-5272, then option 1, then option 2, for referral to a volunteer CPA who can assist them with filing insurance claims, filing casualty losses on their income tax returns, cash flow planning and other services.
In most situations, CalCPA members will provide counseling over the phone.
Fire victims also can access “Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues,” which the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) prepared for the American Red Cross, by going to http://www.calcpa.org and entering “recovery” in the search window.
Help for pets in the San Bruno area:
Petco wants to help pets affected and is offering shelter for stray pets. If you find a stray pet from the San Bruno Fire you can take that animal to: PetCo @ Tanforan – 1150 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066. Call for more info: 650.589.3757
The store is hoping to be the central point for families to reconnect with their pets that may have wandered off in all the confusion.
The Red Cross is unable to accept donations of food, clothing or medicine for people affected by disasters because of the large amount of valuable manpower to process items, the logistical difficulties in storing and delivering these items. The most effective way to help the people affected by this disaster is to make a financial donation to support American Red Cross disaster relief efforts. The Red Cross uses these donations to purchase cots, blankets, food, water, toiletries and other essential items that will help affected individuals following a disaster.