Most importantly we are Safe, and we feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that because we know those that were less fortunate in this absolute tragedy.
As many of you know the Thomas fire ripped through our town and we spent two weeks under mandatory evacuation out of our home. Like so many local businesses that rely on the holiday boost, Kyle's photography business took a large loss. We thought we were prepared and even made the best of our forced vacation from our home. We felt this was our burden to carry, especially since we had mistakingly overlooked purchasing renters insurance. We have since been using savings because of loss of work. In the interim between the fire and these slides, Kyle tried to purchase renters insurance and was denied.
We still don't know the full extent of the damage from this storm and mudslide on our neighborhoood. While we believe our home still stands, we are told at best
it may be weeks before we are allowed home and possibly months before water is restored.
We weren't aware of the dire threat this storm posed and honestly weren't planning to evacuate. Ultimately 2 SB Search and Rescue officers came to the door and spent their time to convince us to head out, even if it was just for the night. We owe our safety to them and are incredibly thankful. We left with only an overnight bag, because we truly believed we would be back the next morning. We were in no way prepared to be dispossessed like this for so many days.
We are stuck without access to our home and for Kyle, most of his work equipment including his computer and hard drives. Meanwhile Etta is trooping along and assuming her usual duties teaching 6th grade. On top of already paying our rent at our current house fully for both December and now January, every additional expense has started to add up, particularly purchasing necessities we didn't evacuate with and eating many meals out. This may also force us to find new housing and all the expenses that come with it, which is daunting after already spending so much. Needless to say we are overwhelmed.
So many people have asked to help including housing us. Companies have donated clothes and friend and friends have cooked us meals. It is completely heartwarming in this stressful time.
More than anything we want to continue our day to day like normal, for Kyle that means working. If financial help isn't an option, please consider passing along his website to those that might be in need of a photographer - www.kylelondonphotography.com
If you can give financially to us, every little bit is extraordinarily appreciated. This fund is setup directly by us, with Kyle taking charge and you can feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Once we return home and if we find ourselves with extra funds after replenishing savings and replacing what we need to replace/fix, we plan on donating to the Santa Barbara Search and Rescue Group. These are our heroes and we personally owe our safety to them.
You can also donate to them directly:
Thank you all.
Kyle, Etta and Yalla dog
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