On January 9, 2018, rain began falling in Montecito, California. With no mandatory evacuation order or apparent need to worry, hundreds of people were caught off guard and ill-prepared for the deadly mudslides that flowed through the area.
Rivers of mud and debris ran down hillsides in Santa Barabra County and demolished homes in Montecito. The devastating mudslides come just a few weeks after wildfires affected the area.
On Wednesday morning, hundreds of people were trapped by debris brought in by the dangerous mudslides. As of the time of publishing, 15 people have died and dozens more are missing.
While families frantically search for their loved ones and pets, first responders are working tirelessly to save everyone they can find.
Keep scrolling to take a look to see how you can help ease the stress of those dealing with this horrific natural disaster.
Whether you live in the area and want to donate your time, or you live across the country, there are many ways you can help in the aftermath of this disaster.
Be sure to SHARE all of the important resources that friends and family can contribute to on Facebook!
Thumbnail Photos: Facebook / DirectRelief // Twitter / Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office
1. Give Blood
The Southern California Blood Services Region has an urgent need for all blood types.
If you live in Southern California and would like to donate blood, please visit the American Red Cross’ blood donation site by clicking here.
There is a map with every location where blood can be donated.
2. Donate And Volunteer At A Food Bank
While Montecito, California, may be a very wealthy area, families in the community have lost everything.
Whether you want to send food, water, or volunteer, the food banks in SoCal need your help.
3. Offer To Help Displaced Animals
Natural disasters have a habit of separating owners from their beloved pets.
Because there was little to no warning about the mudslides, many people panicked and have been separated from their cats and dogs.
The Santa Barbara Humane Society has opened their doors to any displaced pets. You can support their efforts with a monetary donation or volunteer your time.
DAWG is also providing aid for any displaced pets.
4. Provide Aid To Residents With Disabilities
Portlight is an organization that focuses on providing aid for people with disabilities after a natural disaster.
You can visit their homepage to donate. If you have been affected by the mudslides and flooding, you can also call Portlight’s hotline at (800) 626-4959.
DirectRelief is another nonprofit organization that provides medical assistance to people affected by natural disasters.
5. Donate To A Diaper Bank
The Los Angeles Diaper Bank (Baby Buggy) distributes diapers to families in need.
You can give money, your time, or diapers to help after this natural disaster on their site.
Baby2Baby is another organization that accepts donations and distributes diapers to those in need.
If you have been affected by the floods or mudslides, you can enter your zip code and find a diaper bank near you by clicking here.
6. Report Missing People
The Red Cross is offering a resource to report missing people. If you see a Facebook post about a missing person in the Montecito area, you can call the local Red Cross shelter for central California at (805) 987-1514.
Alternatively, if you are in the area, you can go to the Red Cross’ site and list yourself as safe and search for family members. Please click here to do so.
7. Give To A Church Or Community Center
The First Presbyterian Church is offering immediate help to family and friends affected by the mudslides by giving psychological and spiritual support.
You can donate online via the church’s website.
Be sure to SHARE all of these important resources with your friends on Facebook to help residents still coping with the mudslides and flooding.