On October 8, 2017 I heard sirens back to back which alerted me to turn on the police scanner. I learned that an evacuation was happening in the Silverado Club, about 4 miles away from my house. It later recognized as the worst fire in the history of Napa County. This created a chain of events that led to the birth of DRAN.
The morning after, I went to work in the ICU at the Queen of the Valley and by the completion of my shift, it became apparent how bad these fires had impacted the communities of Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake and Napa Counties. By Monday night there was minimal cell phone reception, most businesses were closed, and big part of the city was evacuated while others had no electricity. On Tuesday morning I was placed on call for the hospital. I am a critical care and trauma transport nurse with extensive disaster relief experience and wanted to volunteer. I was well equipped for this type of scenario and was in the middle of the impacted area. I figured that it should not be a problem to find somewhere where I could utilize my knowledge. I circled around all local shelters and incident command locations asking if I could help and I consistently received a NO for an answer. I felt frustrated and sad. I wanted to help my community. I hated feeling useless and underutilized, yet the feeling remained consistent throughout the day and week to come.
I knew there was a need for experienced personnel that had every mean to help but could not get utilized. There were many resources available during the fires and there were tons of need, but no central place where the two could be matched up in a timely manner. DRAN will provide a means for disaster relief responders, citizens and first responders to get actively involved during the head of the disaster and provided tools to match needs and assets. It will serve as a central network where anyone can get involved.