Sunday, November 11, 2018
Several of you have reached out as we endure fires in Southern California, and we are grateful. Fires assailed Pepperdine Friday night, and it is still a dynamic situation around us. Many faculty and staff (including my family and me) live on campus, and our campus plan calls for us to shelter-in-place. 3500 of us sheltered in central buildings on campus, and our university’s planning and preparation was successful and effective. Firefighters battled all night to defend us and our homes and university (and Malibu and beyond), and we emerge safe and sound. All Pepperdine people and buildings are safe, even as we assess needs and grapple with immediate survival and recovery to come.
While in shelter, we started planning to relaunch our Disaster Relief Clinic. We launched the Disaster Relief Clinic as a temporary project last year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, then turned its practice to serve people affected by our neighbors hurt by the Thomas Fire in the spring semester.
Now we are battered by the Woolsey Fire, but we have the resources and proximity to serve our neighborhood and region soon. The fires continue even today and will continue for days more. We will begin assessing needs and capacity between now and Thanksgiving and hope to have firmer plans by then. Our campus is closed, and classes are cancelled until then, too. We will work in the meantime to make plans, connect our networks, and integrate systems. Then we will be able to share plans and needs and look forward to the generous, creative, and compassionate help that this community of clinicians and clinics always provide.
Until then, thank you for your generosity, prayers, love, hope, and contributions to our wounded community.