September 6, 2005 > Local response to Katrina
Local response to Katrina
by Linda Stone
In a press statement on Sept. 2, Governor Schwarzenegger said that more than 900 California first responders and medical personnel have been deployed in hurricane-damaged areas, including eight Urban Search and Rescue Teams to search for victims in Mississippi, another eight Swift Water Rescue Teams that are rescuing victims in New Orleans, and three of California Disaster Medical Assistance Teams that are serving throughout the Gulf Coast region and 500 soldiers and airmen of the California National Guard have been deployed and are arriving to support relief operations in Louisiana.
There have been many local responses around the Tri-Cities in an effort to either send rescue teams or raise funds to help the victims in this disaster. Fremont Fire Chief Bruce Martin said that they sent 14 people from the department, four Swift Water Rescue Teams out of the 17 from Alameda County, and have rescued over 200 people so far. Also, 10 people as part of the 28 member county Urban Search and Rescue Team have been dispatched by bus to Biloxi, Miss. for two to three weeks.
A member of the Milpitas Fire Department was dispatched for deployment to the Gulf States Region as a part of a Federal rescue effort. FEMA Task Force 3 is being deployed to assist with the National care and rescue efforts. The Milpitas Fire Department has a total of four personnel who serve on Task Force 3. Task Force 3 is one of 28 such teams stationed across the Country.
Newark Fire Department reports that, in response to a request from FEMA for 1,000 2-person teams, they have submitted an application and are committed to send a team to the stricken area for 30 days.
On Sunday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. a relief effort will be held, "Mayor's Night at the Movies" at the Center Theater, 37411 Fremont Blvd., with a showing of "The Majestic" starring Jim Carey selected by Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman. Local businesses are generously donating food and raffle prizes for this event with all proceeds to be donated to aid hurricane relief. Ticket donation: $50 and are available at Dale Hardware, Mission Coffee, Cloverleaf Bowl, Corrie Glass, Dino's Restaurant, Prudential Real Estate Warm Springs or use your credit card and call Fremont Flowers at (510) 797-1136. You can also email ticket requests to email@example.com.
The Centerville Farmer's Market on Bond Street in Fremont on Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. will have a "Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief" booth, where a wide variety of delicious, homemade baked goods will be available for purchase. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross.
NewPark Mall is teaming up with the American Red Cross to help raise funds and will display freestanding Hurricane Katrina relief donation sites with remittance envelopes for shoppers who want to donate to the American Red Cross. Shoppers can then mail contributions directly to the Red Cross. The donation sites will be located throughout the mall.
In Union City, Students, parents, teachers and administrators in the New Haven Unified School District are raising money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. At Logan High, students and staff are being asked to bring money to their third-period class starting Tuesday to donate to the relief effort. Logan raised more than $15,000 during a similar fund-raising drive last January for victims of the South Asia tsunami.
The California State Citizen Corps Program is looking for volunteer workers critically needed in the affected region. This is an unprecedented call out for new volunteers. The Red Cross will train new volunteers in a day or two and deploy individuals who meet their basic qualifications. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
Students enrolled at Gulf Coast universities affected by Hurricane Katrina are being offered admission to California State University, East Bay under extraordinary latitude granted the campus by CSU Chancellor Charles Reed. Cal State East Bay is among seven of 23 CSU campuses able to offer admission to students of universities damaged by Katrina. The university reopened its online application operation today so that students at Gulf Coast universities in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi could apply.
PG&E has offered to send electric, gas and transmission tower construction crews, along with vehicles and equipment needed to help restore electricity and natural gas service. Utilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are expected to let PG&E know what resources they need, and an assessment of when crews can enter the affected areas and will coordinate the deployment of crews and equipment to the region. The work, will likely focus on rebuilding distribution and transmission lines by replacing poles and towers and hanging new wire. The crews will also likely rebuild and repair natural gas facilities.
Tzu Chi Foundation has mobilized hundreds of volunteers in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which completely devastated the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. "We want to help as many people as we can. Tzu Chi means "serving with compassion." Tzu Chi has begun fundraising to help those affected by this tragedy. To give your monetary donations, please make your checks out to "Tzu Chi" and mail to Tzu Chi Foundation Northwest Region, 175 Dempsey Road, Milpitas 95035, Tel: (408)262-3389