Firefighters appreciate that the community wants to make donations of food, clothing and money, but they want the community to know they are adequately taken care of and ask that people donate to disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, etc.

United Way of Santa Barbara County is also a lead agency for the region accepting cash donations. Do not bring donations to the Incident Command Post.

If you are wanting to financially support the incident, be advised that individuals often take advantage of the situation by setting up false GoFundMe websites and other types of fundraising accounts that are not legitimate.

Those who are interested in donating to help in an incident should call and verify that the beneficiary is authentic.

Following are verified ways the community can donate and support efforts throughout the community:

United Way of Santa Barbara County has joined forces to directly support those individuals and families affected by the January storm through the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund.

Nonperishable food, new clothing, toiletries and monetary donations are being accepted at the agencies listed below. Used clothing, bedding and toys are not being accepted.

» United Way of Santa Barbara County: Monetary donations accepted at Call 965-8591.
320 E. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

www.unitedwaythomasfirefund.orgAmerican Red Cross: Monetary donations are accepted at Text “redcross” to 90999.

» Foodbank of Santa Barbara County: Monetary donations, nonperishable foods, and fresh produce accepted at: 4554 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93110; 1525 State St., Ste 100, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; 490 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455

» Salvation Army: Unopened and canned food, and monetary donations accepted at 423 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

» Unity Shoppe: New clothing, shoes, blankets, toiletries and monetary donations accepted at 1401 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

The county reminds the public that it is critical for those in Santa Barbara County to register to receive emergency alerts. Sign up
at “If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you,” the county said.

For ongoing updates, visit, follow @countyofsb on Twitter and Facebook, or call 211 from 805 area code or 800-400-1572 outside of 805, or text your zip code to 898-211.

— Santa Barbara County Joint Information Center.