Monday, November 24, 2008

12 days of....

With thanksgiving just a few days away, i thought you might enjoy watching this video, to help you get into the holiday spirit. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

American Red Cross

Saturday, we spent *all* day taking a class with the red cross, so we could work with them to help with the fires. It was an incredibly boring five hours, but I really learned a lot about the red cross. I've used them to get my CPR or First Aid certification, but i didn't really realize what else the did.

They're available to help with any kind of disaster, even a single home fire - it doesn't have to be a huge, city-wide thing. They help people get back on their feet, after their disaster - which means providing a place to stay (shelter or hotel), and any kind of resources a person could need to get started again. Right now, where we are, they're going out to the burn areas, & passing out clean up kits for people - shovels, brooms, gloves, eye drops, etc... whatever they could use to help them clean up the mess that used to be their home.

And I'm amazed at how *very* organized they are! they have checklists for EVERYTHING! That way, anyone (like me) could just walk in on their first day, & open up a shelter - or whatever else. Also, they work really hard at being prepared, so that when a disaster does strike, they have everything they need. So they have all sorts of agreements with businesses all over town, so they can get all sorts of supplies for free from - whomever. (McDonald's supplied our lunch for the day of our class) --which, by the way, give a huge tax write-off to the donating company.

On Tuesday, I was "activated," & got to help for a couple hours while all my kids were at school. They were sending out trucks to so hand out the clean up kits. I really wanted to do that, but since i wasn't available all day, i just got to help load the trucks. Then i went upstairs to help make phone calls.

It was really cool, & i really liked being able to help. And now i have great respect for the Red Cross!

More on the Fire

1,940 acres burned
100% contained
231 residences destroyed: 151 City of Santa Barbara, 80 County of Santa Barbara;
9 residences damaged
Damage assessment is continuing
319 parcels currently remain under evacuation
756 firefighters and support personnel
23 injuries from smoke inhalation
3 burn injuries
Estimated firefighting cost to date $5,700,000

The firemen were able to keep the fires under control, so they didn't spread any further than where they were the first couple days.

The people started returning to their homes on Monday. Very sad to hear about the devisation out there. I heard one lady talking about her dad's was caught in the fire, & the metal melted down into the street. now the car is fused to the street!

I think i mentioned before, that the fire was in a *very* wealthy part of town, so a lot of expensive property was completely lost. One man had museum pieces in his home!

But the fire is contained, and now begins the recovery process.

Westmont, the local college was hit hard. about 50 college kids are needing a place tostay, because some of the dorms were burned (we've offered to house a couple of girls). Tons of faculty lost their homes. One of the worst hit was a family with a little 4 y/o boy, and she's 6 months pregnant. They lost EVERYTHING. the fire grew so qickly that they just had to run out as fast as they could. so they had no clothes, no toys for their child, no baby supplies for the next... So our church adopted them & is trying to gather things together for them. We're planning to throw a baby shower later, for her.

Friday, November 14, 2008

update #2

random facts & news bits:

it's supposed to be crazy hot (90 degrees) and windy today - but not as windy as yesterday.

the fire is 2 1/2 miles from the shore.

For you movie buffs, the news people just mentioned that "scarface" was filmed out where the fire is burning. Also, a local hotel which is near the fire was site for "the postman aways rings twice."

"Publicists for [Rob] Lowe and [Oprah] Winfrey told the AP the celebrities' homes had not been destroyed and neither was staying in the area Thursday night." just in case you were worried about them.

Montecito suffered a major fire in 1977, when more than 200 homes burned. A fire in 1964 burned about 67,000 acres and damaged 150 houses and buildings." - fox news

"Due to the firefighting activities in the area, water reservoirs have dropped to dangerously low levels."

as of last night, at least 2 people had to be helicoptered out to burn centers for treatment.

10 injuries from smoke inhalation
3 burn injuries (1 firefighter and 2 residents)

1,000 firefighters on the front lines.

5,400 residents have been evacuated.

over 100 people slept at the local shelter last night (no celebrities mentioned ;~) ). That's sad to me, b/c that means there are over 100 people who don't have any friends who can house them! :(

Animals Sheltered at Santa Barbara Humane Society:•20 cats, 9 dogs, 1 pig, 4 horses, 11 miscellaneous small animals - just in case you were worried about all the little critters. :)

update #1

Chris went out and bought an antena for our TV last night, so we could get one grainy news channel. The fire is burning mainly in Montecito, which is where a lot of famous people live on large estates. When we were watching last night, the footage of the burning buildings, the houses were enormous! If you feel like doing some celebrity sightings, you might want to go check out the local evac. center. --maybe i should go check it out & see if my good friend, Kenny Loggins is there. ;~)

They had a few helicopters dumping water on the fires through the night, using infrared goggles. Now that daylight is here, there are all sorts of helicpters flying around.

waking up this morning to the news, we heard that Westmont (chris' alma mater) lost about 8 buildings, including some student housing, and 12 faculty houses. 2,500 acres have burned and over 100 homes have been lost. The yard where chris' company keeps all of their equipment has been put on evacuation alert. Before we went to sleep last night, we set out a few things that we would want to grab quickly, just in case we had to evacuate. So far the fire has stayed a safe distance from us. It would have to go through downtown S.B. before it got to us. It's just hard to feel 100% safe, since the winds are so crazy.

If you'd like to hear more, Fox News has a good article w/photos. it's pretty sad when the national news gives you better coverage than the local news! - but seriously, i think that's just because all the local news is just trying to tell everyone the wheres & whens of evacuations & school closures. Our schools don't close for snow days, they close for fire!

This should be an interesting weekend!

As a side-note, the local radio station just mocked the national headlines: "We're being reffered to as a 'wealthy enclave.' For those of you going to work this morning, struggling to make your mortgage payment, you can be comforted with the fact that you live in a 'wealthy enclave.'" :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

another wildfire...

Just thought you'd all like to know that we have a HUGE wildfire burning here in the mountains just above town. It started about four hours ago & is growing like crazy. We have really strong hot winds that are blowing down the mountain - sometimes at 75 miles/hour. It's making this fire spread really quickly. I heard one news source estimate well over 60 structures that he saw burning. It also sounds like the local college (which chris attended) has lost several buildings. All of the students are currently locked in the fire-proof gym. It's hard to tell what exactly is happening, because the fire is so huge & moving so rapidly, that it doesn't sound like anyone has any exact news. The people on the radio just said 20,000 homes are w/o electricity, and 400 acres burned. The firefighters aren't giving any estimations as to how much is contained, because it's completely out of control.

We don't have TV here, so we're keeping up with the news w/our local radio station, and KEYT, live video feed from KSBY and one more.

Bippity Boppity Boo! - or something like that.

okay... it looks like my blog is in desperate need of an update, so i thought i'd share a few pictures from halloween.

normally, i don't dress up, but since my in-laws were going to be enjoying halloween with us, my very creative mother-in-law, & sister-in-law thought it'd be fun to do a group costume, and since they did all the work how could i resist? :)

We were the 3 fairies from sleeping beauty. I think i was flora - but i've never seen the movie, so i'm not really sure.

Didn't they do a great job on the costumes!?

People *loved* seeing the three fairies & everyone gushed over how wonderful it was & asked to take pictures. What a strange feeling to be a celebrity. :)

Chris was a MasterCard commercial. :)

Chloe was a waitress

The Boys were bees. It's truly impossible to get a good picture of those boys. they just can't hold a decent smile for more than half a second! I finally gave up. This is my best one of about 5.

Evy was a Ballerina Butterfly

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Chloe's wish list

Chloe told me this moring that she's added a few things to her christmas wish list:

an iphone
a wallet (to hold her $1,000?)
and some make-up

She couldn't understand why i was laughing so hard at her request.