California Lodging Industry Association Shares Wildfire Crisis Communications
October 12, 2017 1:50pm
Dear Industry Leaders,
As you are well aware, wildfires have recently exploded across the state. Many of us have family, friends or colleagues who have suffered losses.
Against this somber backdrop, I am writing to update you on Visit California’s crisis communications efforts. As with any crisis response, our immediate thoughts are always with the first responders who bravely rush into danger to protect life and property. We are incredibly grateful for their work.
As of this morning, 22 fires are active. Twenty-one people have died and at least 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed. Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency, and President Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration. Napa and Sonoma counties are two of the hardest hit, while a fire in Anaheim is drawing national attention for its proximity to Disneyland.
Visit California has activated its Crisis Communications Plan, and we are working closely with partners in affected destinations around the state to communicate accurate and up-to-date information to potential visitors around the world. Our network of international offices is analyzing media coverage to inform ongoing response efforts. All 13 international offices are working with travel trade partners in each market, providing the latest information on areas impacted by the fires. We remain in close contact with the Governor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Services, among others.
Many of you have asked how you can help. We’ve compiled a partial list of organizations that are working to help the affected communities recover. The Office of Emergency Services has recommended only financial donations at this stage of the crisis, since there are limited locations to warehouse supplies or other items. If you would like to donate items, OES recommends making donations to Goodwill, Salvation Army or a similar organization that can stockpile goods. Some organizations are also looking for volunteer help.
UNITED WAY OF THE WINE COUNTRY
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SONOMA COUNTY
NAPA VALLEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
THE CENTER FOR VOLUNTEER AND NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP
NAPA AND SONOMA COUNTY FIRE RELIEF GO FUND ME
REDWOOD EMPIRE FOOD BANK
REDWOOD CREDIT UNION
On the tourism front, we’ve already asked our agencies to begin work on a recovery initiative, and we will of course be discussing the disaster at our upcoming Fall Board Meeting on Oct. 25 in Catalina. In the meantime, if I or anyone on the Visit California team can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. We stand ready to amplify any of your efforts. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the fires.
california lodging industry association,
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