A survivor of the 1991 Oakland firestorm said that the loss of IDENTITY certificates and papers, passports, driving licenses, was going to cause years of grief in the recovery for those involved because of making claims and restarting. This was her experience after the Oakland fires. She said “This is where Silicon Valley’s help is most needed”. This was her top concern for those affected by the fire, based on her and her neighbors’ experience.

Fast Forward to 2017 and the Wine Country fires. With 90,000 evacuees, and 6,000 properties destroyed or significantly damaged, we face a crisis that is close at hand. Let’s not waste this opportunity to show what we in the technology community can do to help those who might have lost their papers. This is necessary for identification, but also to aid those impact in accessing the medical information, to obtain medications and treatments like dialysis. With schools closed last week, and some still closed in the coming week, educational records need to follow students wherever they turn up (living with friends and family all over the Bay area), some college applications will not contain transcripts; financial identification and residential addresses will be disrupted.

If you are ready to help at this frontier where tech and reality meet, we can use your help. Please provide your information in the form below and we will take it from there.

Visit Medical Reserve Corps or California Health Medical Reserve Corps for more information.

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