Published: Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team
Following the devastating fires and subsequent floods which occurred in Southern California in 2017, the Woodside Community Foundation reached out to the Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team, Inc. to determine whether they needed financial assistance in their ongoing large animal evacuation and disaster relief efforts.
SB Equine Evac got it’s start more than 25 years ago after the Painted Cave Fire, and has been active during almost every Fire in the area since. The group assists all Santa Barbara County emergency responding agencies and large animal owners in the evacuation, temporary care and sheltering of large animals in time of fire, flood, earthquake and other disasters or accidents. Their volunteers are trained and registered Disaster Service Workers under the Office of Emergency Services in California. They also provide disaster preparedness and emergency response education and demonstrations for many local public events, agencies and organizations.
Recently, SB Equine Evac stated that it is looking for funding to purchase a large storage container which would be permanently located on the Earl Warren Fairgrounds. This storage container would be used to house the hundreds of buckets, carts, hoses, tools and other equipment needed for immediate access during any evacuation/disaster relief event. Given the enormity of the Fairgrounds, with over 600 stalls and turn out area’s, the group also wanted to purchase a utility vehicle (ATV) or farm type vehicle which would be used for feedings, and delivering hay and supplies where needed throughout the expansive Fairgrounds.
As SB Equine Evac’s spokeswoman Ronda Hathaway says, “Our goal is to be prepared and ready to go at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds whenever and for whatever the community needs. We never know when that will be but we have been super busy in past years. A container onsite will help us be ready quicker for incoming animals rather than a storage unit offsite. At this point, the ATV would be for our use only, and the container would be a permanent staging.”
In January of 2018, the Woodside Community Foundation was pleased to award $15,000 from the North Bay Horse and Livestock Disaster Relief Fund to this important emergency preparedness project. The Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team now has both its permanent storage container and ATV in place at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds in anticipation of the next large-scale disaster.
Learn more about the Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team.