How to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

South San Francisco, CA   August 30, 2017  

Image: WWAY News

Many in our community have reached out asking how they could best help those folks who were affected by Hurricane Harvey and inquiring if any donation sights have been set up locally so they can drop off items.


South San Francisco Fire Department recently deployed personnel to assist with the search and rescue operations in Texas so we asked Fire Chief Gerry Kohlman for his input knowing his experience in assisting disaster areas would give shed light on the best use of our offerings. “My recommendation is that good-hearted community members select a charitable or non-profit organization that they trust and commit funds. Cash now flows electronically and can be spent on meeting the specific needs of specific populations in specific regions.” he told us. The logistics of receiving material donations can overwhelm other volunteers in the area with the necessary warehousing, sorting and distributing of the goods. “There are few logistics to handling donated funds versus the logistics of handling donated goods…that may or may not actually be useful or applicable to the situation.” the Chief said.


We had also checked with Communications Director Leslie Arroyo and she agreed financial donations seem to be the best way to help. “I have a friend in the area who mentioned the best thing is to support the following organizations The Salvation Army, Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, and Harvey Disaster Animal Fund.


Red Cross also has a donation sight for victims of Hurricane Harvey which can be found CLICK HERE.



This is also a good opportunity to remind our neighbors to be prepared for when disaster strikes us here locally by taking the training course Community Emergency Response Team offered through our Fire Department. This training covers first/aid, CPR, use of fire extinguisher, shut-off gas, electric and water utilities following a disaster as well topics that will ensure that you can do the greatest good for the greatest number of victims, while protecting your self from becoming a victim. Graduates are encouraged to become members of the Fire Department’s CERT program. Call the CERT Hotline for
upcoming class dates (650) 829-4336 or email the programs director To read more about our SSFCERT on Everything South City CLICK HERE


A few brief reminders:

Keep shoes/slippers next to your bed in case of broken glass so you will not become a victim at the onset of an emergency such as earthquake

Keep your vehicles gas gauge on FULL. Keep your keys in a handy location easily found when needed

Keep cash on hand, in the event of an emergency cash registers may not be working

Keep a minimum of 72 hrs of supplies on hand including medications and special items in addition to high protein food, water, shoes, jackets, duct tape, heavy duty plastic bags, etc.

Keep your family and friends updated on disaster plans: where will you meet up, who is your out of area contact to check in with, etc.

Keep copies of important documents on a flash drive that can be easily taken with you should you need to evacuate your home.

Snag one of the kids old backpacks and start adding the above items in it and keep in the car or in place easily accessible if/when needed.





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