When fires engulfed Northern California last week, leaving thousands displaced and without a home, cities were in dire need of more helping hands.
The city of Santa Clarita sent two of their own to Santa Rosa this week to aid in equipping locals with updated information and preparing them to rebuild.
“With a fire event that is so large and devastating, the city of Santa Rosa needed assistance on many fronts,” Santa Clarita Communications Manager Carrie Lujan said. “When the call came for help, our city was more than willing to send staff to assist.”
Communications Specialist Mayumi Miyasato was asked Sunday night if she would be willing to head to Santa Rosa and was on a plane there three hours later.
In her time in Northern California this week, Miyasato has worked a minimum of 12 hours in the Emergency Operation Center and out of a Public Information Officer trailer at the Joint Information Center each day bringing updates to Santa Rosa residents and relieving their city’s staff.
Also, she has served on the committee that is determining reentry plans for residents going back to neighborhoods that were evacuated.
“Fires of any size are devastating, but to see one consume full neighborhoods is absolutely heartbreaking,” Miyasato said in a statement to The Signal. “It was humbling to see Santa Rosa city employees, many who were themselves displaced by the fire, work endless hours to serve their community.”
The city also sent Building Inspector Charlie Allen to Santa Rosa to help locals move forward following the disaster.
Allen is an ICC Certified Combination Building Inspector, certifying him in all construction trades. As all of Santa Clarita’s inspectors, he is also registered with the state Office of Emergency Services as a disaster service worker.
The building inspector was helping a friend move on Sunday when he was asked to help with the Santa Rosa effort. After picking up his work truck, he drove straight to Northern California and started to work early the next morning.
Each day, Allen has worked two hours in the Emergency Operations Center and 10 hours at the Local Assistance Center.
About 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa’s city limits need to be rebuilt, he said.
“My position is to inform the survivors of how to start the rebuilding process,” Allen said in a statement to The Signal. “I am assisting about 30 survivors a day with information on getting their plans, making changes and getting the hazardous waste removed from the fire.”