Direct Relief today announced an initial commitment of $300,000 to the 1/9 Victims Fund, a distinct fund established by Direct Relief for the sole purpose of providing direct financial assistance to people affected by the January 9 debris flow in Montecito.
Direct Relief established the 1/9 Victims Fund in response to numerous inquiries from community members wishing to provide direct financial assistance to those who have been affected.
Additional donations from the public, including funds raised at the upcoming “One805 Kick Ash Bash,” a concert organized by community leaders to honor first responders and support survivors, will augment Direct Relief’s initial commitment of $300,000.
To ensure that every dollar contributed to the fund will support qualified individuals, Direct Relief will manage all administrative functions and absorb all administrative costs related to the 1/9 Victims Fund.
One hundred percent of monetary contributions to the 1/9 Victims Fund will be paid to eligible individuals who meet any of the following criteria:
- Next of Kin: Eligible claimants include the estates of individuals who lost their lives as a result of the January 9 mudslide.
- Individuals Who Required Hospitalization Due to Injuries Sustained: Eligible claimants include people who were injured in the January 9 debris flow and were hospitalized for at least one night.
- Montecito Residents Not Covered by the First or Second Category: Eligible claimants include any individual who does not qualify for the categories above and can provide proof of residency at a property in Montecito that was impacted by the mudslides.
Links to a claim form will be disseminated to all known claimants by March 1, 2018, as identified by hospitals, the Sheriff’s office, the local coroner’s office, and other authorities. Individuals also can register here to receive an application once it becomes available.
The application window will extend through March 31, 2018.
Direct Relief administered similar funds to the victims of the Isla Vista shooting in 2014 as well as those of the 2012 Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. These funds set aside specific classes of victims, to whom compensation could be distributed evenly. These prior established funds were modeled after the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Fund, the One Fund after the Boston bombing, and others.
Administration of the 1/9 Victims Fund will be conducted concurrently and in addition to Direct Relief’s other response efforts related to the 1/9 debris flow, which include:
Equipping Emergency Responders – Direct Relief has allocated $400,000 to equip first responder agencies with specifically requested resources including rugged UTV vehicles and search and rescue gear. These items have been deployed and were used immediately by Montecito Fire, Santa Barbara County Fire Urban Search and Rescue and Swift Water Rescue, Santa Barbara City Fire, and Santa Barbara County Sheriff Search and Rescue. Each agency also received a $20,000 grant to purchase other emergency gear, including dry suits, headlamps, harnesses and cables, and helmets. A specially equipped off-road truck and trailer was also procured for the Montecito Fire Department to transport the UTVs.
Strengthening Public Health Efforts – Direct Relief has provided the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department with several thousand doses of tetanus and hepatitis-A vaccine and other medical items to administer vaccinations to protect first responders, cleanup workers, and residents in Montecito.
Supporting Community Groups, Providing Supplies for Safe Clean-Up and Recovery – Direct Relief has provided more than $10,000 in personal protective gear to local government agencies, residents, clean-up volunteer crews, Habitat for Humanity and other community organizations involved in clean-up activities. Items include 3M protective suits, N95 masks, and safety goggles. Direct Relief also is providing funding support for the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, which has mobilized hundreds of volunteers to assist homeowners with mud removal and clean up from their homes.