Cooperation  •  Communication  •  Coordination  •  Collaboration

Info Exchange

Information resources for our members.
  • March 03, 2011 10:39 AM | Anonymous
    Check out the great resources on our website to help individuals and families prepare for emergencies. Includes templates for family disaster plans and checklists for creating emergency supply kits. 
  • January 22, 2011 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    Scientists say "megastorms" occur every 100 to 200 years in California. A series of winter storms occur one after another to create massive flooding that could inundate the Central Valley, trigger widespread landslides and cause flood damage to 1 in 4 homes. The most severe storm event on record in California, a 45-day series of storms that started in December 1861, caused such extensive flooding that the Sacramento Valley was turned into "an inland sea, forcing the state Capitol to be moved temporarily from Sacramento to San Francisco, and requiring Gov. Leland Stanford to take a rowboat to his inauguration," according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    See the Los Angeles Times article The next "Big One" might be a megastorm. January 23, 2011.

  • May 03, 2010 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    I am delighted to report that Partner Members of Santa Barbara County VOAD can now register for free with Gifts in Kind International, thanks to our friends at Northern Santa Barbara County United Way and PathPoint.

    Gifts in Kind International links the product donation programs of almost half of the Fortune 500 corporations and thousands of smaller companies with more than 150,000 community charities throughout America and 26 countries worldwide. By registering with Gifts in Kind International, your nonprofit organization can qualify to receive needed items from a vast range of products including:
    • Clothing, personal hygiene and care items, educational supplies, toys, and much more to enhance the lives of individuals in need.
    • Computers, software, office supplies, and other equipment to empower nonprofits and schools to accomplish even greater achievements in their communities.
    • Building supplies, tools, furniture, and appliances to help restore communities devastated by natural disaster or poverty.

    To take advantage of this program, please follow the instructions below from Sandy Soria, Northern Santa Barbara County United Way Program Coordinator. Please note only one person from your organization should register with Gifts in Kind International. (More than one person in your organization may be a member of Santa Barbara County VOAD.)


    All nonprofits partnered with Northern Santa Barbara County United Way and PathPoint will have free access to products provided through Gifts In Kind International, as long as they follow the instructions below to register using the online tool.

    To get your nonprofit registered through our new Online Registration, you will need to enter your organization's Gifts In Kind International registration "ID" number and a temporary password (provided below). 

    • You can register for free by going through the registration process, selecting the Member option and entering these codes:
    • Parent Registration Code: 100065601 
    • Parent Discount Code: CRP-UWSAN1
    NOTE: If you do not enter these codes you will be charged the full $150 price for membership.

    This will allow us to better track who is part of the partnership with Northern Santa Barbara County United Way and Pathpoint and will give you access to the entire product line available in Gifts In Kind International's warehouses through our new Online Catalog.

    Once registration is complete you will receive an email with your unique registration number and information about accessing the Gifts In Kind International Online Catalog.

    If you need assistance registering, please contact:

    TJ Cantwell, Vice President - Nonprofit Relations
    (703) 299-7562  tjcantwell@giftsinkind.org

    If you have additional questions, please contact:

    Sandy Soria, Program Coordinator
    Northern Santa Barbara County United Way
    (805) 922-0329 x105  sandy@uwcentralcoast.org

    If you are interested in visiting or "shopping" at the Distribution Center, please contact:

    Tanya Dennett, Program Manager
    PathPoint Employment Services
    805) 934-3537 x108 tanya.dennett@pathpoint.org

    We are happy to be of service to you, especially in these difficult times. We look forward to your participation and support!

  • April 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Anonymous
    At 5:45 pm on November 13, 2008, a wildfire broke out close to the campus of Westmont College, nestled in the wooded hills off Sycamore Canyon Road in Santa Barbara. By 6:00 pm, embers blown by fierce "sundowner" winds ignited spot fires on the campus. By 6:10 pm, 800 members of the Westmont community were sheltered in the campus gymnasium, where they safely weathered the firestorm.

    Eight buildings were destroyed and $2 - 3 million worth of damage was done to the campus landscape that night, but there were no injuries. Much of the credit for the success of Westmont's sheltering-in-place can be attributed to the leadership of Tom Bauer, Public Safety Director, who had been overseeing extensive disaster-response planning and regular campus-wide drills since 2003.

    Lessons Learned
    In a presentation to a meeting of Santa Barbara County CAER (Community Awareness. Emergency Response) on April 28, 2010, Bauer enumerated the lessons learned from preparing for an responding to the Tea Fire:
    • Develop a comprehensive disaster response plan before a disaster strikes. Download Westmont's shelter-in-place procedure guide.)
    • A critical component to a successful disaster-response is frequent training.
      • Test and refine the plan through repeated drills.
      • Westmont conducts drills three times a year and has trained three or four people for each position.
    • Create a very simple incident-action message.
      • At Westmont, it was "Go to the gym."
      • Everyone at Westmont knew what to do when the fire struck because the message was simple and they had repeatedly practiced responding to it.
      • The message was the same for both sheltering-in-place and evacuating the campus, because the first step of the evacuation plan was also assembling at the gymnasium.
    • Establish separate incident command structure (ICS) for the sheltering operation. Don't mix it with the larger campus emergency operations center and business reactivation process.  
    • Signage is critical to the smooth operation of a shelter. In a disaster, people want and need clear direction.
    • Everyone must sign in and out of the shelter. Controlling access is vital to ensuring safety and maintaining security.
    • Be ready with backup electrical power. Westmont had acquired a portable generator that ensured the shelter was powered throughout the night.
    • Make sure your plan addresses sanitation needs and other logistical issues.
      • For example, an earthquake may disable indoor facilities so it may be necessary to set up portable toilets.
      • You may not need to purchase everything you need, as long as you have contracts with local vendors to supply your needs.
    • Review your insurance before a disaster occurs and make sure that it is adequate.
    • Be prepared to proactively manage your public relations messages. and quickly dispel misinformation
      • Establish a central information clearing house.
      • Make sure your website is hosted remotely or an accessible remote back-up of your website can be quickly activated. 
    • Cycle through your consumables before their expiration date.
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