The holidays are always a time of reflection and renewal as we close out one year and move forward into the next. 2017 has been a tough year for many people who may then be glad to see better days ahead in 2018. Every year natural disasters cause destruction and loss of life around the globe. This year disaster hit too close to home for X2nSat customers in Texas and Florida due to a very busy hurricane season. While the property loss was astronomical, thankfully the loss of human life although tragic was fairly minimal. Wisely, the citizens of these affected areas heeded to the warnings of public safety officials in getting their families out of harm’s way.
Just when we thought hurricane season was winding down and things were returning to a sense of normalcy, events took a dramatic turn for the worse. What started as a quiet windy evening in Sonoma County where X2nSat headquarters reside, families were abruptly awakened in the middle of the night with only moments notice to escape with their lives as an inferno of flames destroyed entire neighborhoods. The event of that night continued into a devastating and somber two weeks, not knowing from one day to the next if the fires would advance and continue to destroy lives, homes and businesses or be contained.
Wildfires have always been a part of the natural landscape of California and because of this there is a strong appreciation for the men and women of CalFire and all the local agencies that leaped into action when wildfires broke out. Without their brave and tireless efforts the devastating impact of these fires would have had more of a reach in the loss of lives, homes and livelihoods.
Related: Official recovery information for Sonoma County Fires
Even as the ashes were still smoldering the people of Sonoma County began to pick up the pieces. This is the part of the story where we get to talk about how natural disasters and tragedies can bring out the best in a community. Throughout the county, were signs proclaiming “Sonoma Strong”. Friends and neighbors doing anything and everything they could to help someone in need. Total strangers in surrounding communities opening their homes up to those displaced or donating clothing and other items needed by people who lost everything.
Here at X2nSat we did what we could to help first responders with communications equipment and any other support they needed. We sent one of our satellite communication trailers over to the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department in Glen Ellen. As the immediate threat of the fires was extinguished, we started raising some money to donate to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund being facilitated by the Redwood Credit Union. If you are inclined to make a donation please do so.
Related: We Give Thanks
Not only did many people lose their homes, but so did many animals. Local and area animal shelters have been swamped by lost cats, dogs and other animals displaced by the flames. X2nSat and other local businesses have jumped in to help offset adoption fees and other expenses for shelters that already operate on very thin budgets and rely on volunteers and donations. So don’t forget about our four-legged friends during times of disaster.
We really love the community we call home here in Sonoma County. Not just because it is a beautiful place to live with much to offer (come visit, Sonoma County is open for tourism business!), but because of the people we call friends and neighbors. We have so many great organizations that do so much to try and help people in need and make the community better for everyone. Local businesses participate heavily in groups like the Rotary Club that lead many enrichment programs locally. Residents volunteer and advance the great works of organizations like C.O.T.S. that work to help those in need of food and housing.
2017 was a tough year here in Sonoma County, as it was in many other places struck by natural disasters, but the people here have pulled together to rise above the ashes and remake our community even stronger. This holiday season if you and your family are fortunate enough to have your health, a decent roof above your head and ample food, please look around for someone who might need a little help this time of year. It could come in the form of a warm meal or simply a kind smile and some understanding. Happy Holidays!