Montecito Mudslide

In January 2018, a powerful rainstorm washed over the fire-denuded mountains above Montecito, California, causing a deadly debris flow that devastated the community below.

In Brief

  • The disaster occurred one month after the Thomas fire, which scorched the hills above Montecito and contributed significantly to the debris flow that claimed more than 20 lives and injured dozens more.
  • In response, Direct Relief provided for immediate use a range of specialized vehicles and equipment needed by emergency responders for search and rescue and to address the heightened risks and changed conditions in the disaster’s aftermath.
  • Direct Relief also established the 1/9 Victims Fund as mechanism through which $1 million in financial assistance was provided directly to affected residents. 

In Focus

Active Emergency Responses

Firefighters battle the Carr Fire in Shasta County last week. Direct Relief is offering respiratory masks and other supplies to healthcare facilities in areas across the state impacted by fires. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)


California Wildfires

Direct Relief is responding to a series of devastating fires burning across its home state of California, providing healthcare agencies and emergency responders in wildfire-affected communities with N-95 masks, medicine and other needed items.

Refugee Crisis

Rohingya Refugee Crisis

An unprecedented humanitarian emergency has been building as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have crossed the Myanmar border into neighboring Bangladesh.

Emergency News

Designed for Disaster

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