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It feels like huge fires rampage through California at least once a year, and to make it worse, it always feels like a helpless situation. What many people don’t realize is that there are actually quite a few things they can do to provide aid to others in these circumstances. If you are one of those people, check out this list of what you can do to help wildlife recovery efforts to see which actions you can take to assist those in need.
Make Some Donations
Since these fires happen primarily in California, there’s only so much that most Americans can do from a distance. Booking a last-minute flight usually isn’t in the budget, but most people can send a donation. These contributions don’t always have to be money, either. You can send nonperishable food, clothes, blankets, and essential baby supplies if you have any extras lying around.
Make sure you check to see which goods each relief service currently needs. They may not need what you want to send them. A good example of this is food. Many people tend to send food, leading to overwhelming amounts that they couldn’t possibly give away, no matter how hard they try, ending in unnecessary waste.
Volunteer at Shelters
If you live closer, you have a lot more options for helping those in need. Shelters need volunteers to help with various general jobs. By far, the most common is making and serving meals. These safe havens house hundreds of people who have lost their homes, so they can’t provide for their families currently. Relief programs need as much help as they can get to feed them all.
It’s not only about those who have lost their homes, either. Some people are still safe at home but can’t access stores to get the things they need. Some assistance groups send volunteers to deliver supplies to these homes as well.
Support Emergency Responders
Those who have some know-how or are able-bodied can help the various emergency responders who have been spread paper-thin. Even if you don’t have any medical experience, you can help move injured people or dress minor wounds.
If you want to help fight the fires, that’s a possibility as well. Unless the firefighters are really short-staffed, you probably won’t be putting out any flames, but they will need your help with tons of other tasks. Just make sure you come with the basics that every volunteer firefighter needs.
Continue Helping Post-Wildfire
Even after all the fires have been extinguished, the list of what you can do to help wildlife recovery efforts doesn’t end. There are still hundreds or even thousands of displaced people who have nowhere to go. If you own an Airbnb or some other form of temporary residence, you can allow people to stay there until they find a new place to live. You can also aid groups like Habitat for Humanity in the planning and reconstruction of homes lost in the fire. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you helped, only that you did, and those in need with appreciate it.