We’ve been humbled to serve thousands of businesses in the wake of natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to earthquakes, and everything in between. But today we are facing a far more immediate threat to some of our closets friends and families right there in the Bay Area. The Napa and Sonoma fires have exploded into such a violent and fast-moving regional threat that fire crews are unable to battle the flames as they are preoccupied with live-saving measures and emergency evacuations. While we’d normally take this opportunity to extoll the value of establishing a reliable automatic business failover system or installing the free VirtualPBX Softphone App, we instead want to provide some critical resources for those affected by the fires below.
Napa & Sonoma Fires: Impact and Resources
What started as a collection of a dozen or so small fires late on Sunday night has ballooned into one of the most chaotic and destructive fires in California’s history. We’re no stranger to the destructive power of forest fires here, but these fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties are effectively like having wildfires ripping through urban and commercial environments. Fuelled by wind gusts from 50-70 mph, the fires were still 0% contained as of last night and have claimed at least 10 lives, over 1,500 homes and businesses, and have left over 100 people missing. Please note the following resources and, if you or anyone you know is caught in the effects of these fires, know that we are here to help you in any way we can, as well.
- Report Missing Persons The Sonoma Country Sherriff’s Department is leading the effort to collect all missing persons information and to provide updates to the community on the fires’ status. Contact them directly at (707) 565-3856
- Free Access To Wi-Fi From Comcast Comcast is opening all of their Wi-Fi hotspots in Northern California up for free to customers and non-customers alike. The program will be open through at least this coming Friday and details on how to log in can be found here.
- Offer Shelter Support or Secure Temporary Lodging Among the many public shelters being rapidly opened for the growing thousands of displaced residents is the Petaluma People’s Services Center which is providing shelter as well as arranging host accommodations around the area. They are also accepting donations of goods to help in this effort and details on securing shelter and the list of essentials they need can be found here.
Stay Safe, Stay Smart
We want to remind everyone that, with winds expected to pick up again later this evening and overnight, these fires are still very much active, uncontrolled, and unpredictable. Therefore, we urge all people who are able to help to resign yourselves to contacting the appropriate authorities to see what it is that they need, and do not venture north to assist in person. Furthermore, all of our customers in the area should take safety as their first priority, but know that all of our servers and services are located in redundant locations and you shouldn’t experience any interruptions. If you have any challenges with your coverage whatsoever, please contact Customer Support as soon as you are in a safe place to do so and we will give your needs the attention they deserve. Also, if you have any other needs, tips, or resources you want to share, please let us know on Twitter or Facebook and we will be certain to disseminate the information as soon as possible. Thank you all for your concern as our loved ones and neighbors are in danger, and we hope that everyone remains safe through the end of these tragic fires.