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Recovery & Resources / AN ORANGE COUNTY GUIDE TO COPING WITH FIRE

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WHOM TO CALL

Here are some important numbers to use for fire information. All are in the 714 area code unless otherwise noted:

* Orange County Hot Line: 834-7285. The County Emergency Operations Center is a complete information source for disaster victims. The line, staffed by various public safety agencies, will remain active for as long as it is needed. Disaster aid centers have yet to be established, and the hot line is the number to use until then.

* Federal Assistance Hot Line: 497-0716. Residents can call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at its Laguna Beach office for information on federal assistance.

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* American Red Cross: 835-5381. The Red Cross is handling inquiries from people whose relatives live in the path of a fire. The organization is seeking donations of money and goods and services. It is also asking Red Cross-trained volunteers to contact the Orange County office. Red Cross shelters are situated at Dana Hills High School, 33333 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point, and at Corona del Mar High School, 2101 Eastbluff Drive, Corona del Mar.

* School districts: Laguna Beach Unified, 497-7700; Orange Unified, 997-6131; Newport-Mesa Unified, 760-3200.

* Laguna Beach County Water District: 494-1041.

* U.S. Postal Service mail hot lines: 495-1511 and 495-1510. Do not call the numbers listed in the phone book.

* Southern California Edison: 581-1210 for fire-related service problems.

* GTE: The phone company, which serves Laguna Beach, requests that residents limit calls to emergencies only. For service questions, call 611.

* California Department of Insurance: (800) 927-HELP. Trained counselors, many of whom assisted fire victims in last year’s Oakland fire, will advise residents whose houses were damaged or destroyed.

* United Policyholders: (510) 841-8646. Oakland-based nonprofit organization advises insurance policyholders. Worked with victims of the Oakland fire and of the hurricane that devastated Florida.

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* Western Insurance Information Service: (800) 391-1679. Insurance industry-sponsored educational organization; also supplies brochures about coverage.

NUMEROS IMPORTANTES SI NECESITA AYUDA

Si necesita ayuda debido al destructivo incendio del miercoles y jueves, puede llamar a las siguentes oficinas:

* Condado de Orange: (714) 834-7285. El departamento de emergencia ofrece todo tipo de informacion para victimas del incendio.

* Gobierno federal: (714) 497-0716.

* Cruz Roja: (714) 835-5381. Ofrece ayuda en cualquiera emergencia relacionada al fuego.

* Distritos escolares: Laguna Beach Unified, (714) 497-7700. Orange Unified, (714) 997-6131. Newport-Mesa Unified, (714) 760-3200

* Departamento de correos: (714) 495-1511 y (714) 495-1510. No marque los numeros en el guia de telefonos.

* Departamento de agua: Laguna Beach County Water District, (714) 494-1041.

* Servicio electrico: (714) 581-1210. Emergencias solamente.

* Telefonos: 611. Emergencias solamente

WHAT’S OPEN, WHAT’S NOT

Because all roads leading into and out of Laguna Beach were closed Thursday, very little inside the city could return to normal.

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Many businesses, banks and schools were shut down. Mail delivery to all of Laguna Beach was suspended Thursday until the roads open, said Christine Dugas, spokeswomen for the U.S. Postal Service.

“We know that customers get frantic when they can’t get their mail,” she said, adding that the post office in Laguna Niguel will remain open until 7 p.m. for people to claim their mail.

City Hall, while threatened by fire Wednesday, was operating as best it could Thursday. Police and fire services were in full operation, a partial list of what was open and what was closed Thursday:

* Laguna Beach schools closed Thursday and today.

* City Hall was open.

* Only several stores were open Thursday because there were few customers.

* Gas stations were open.

* OCTA bus routes 1 and 89 were halted until roads reopen.

* Postal delivery to Laguna Beach was suspended, will resume when roads open.

* Banks closed, automatic teller machines working.

* The Laguna Art Institute partially burned and closed.

Other areas:

* Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, which was used as an evacuation center Wednesday, was open.

* Woodbridge High School in Irvine was open.

* Dana Hills High School was open.

WHERE TO VOTE ON TUESDAY

Despite the devastating fires that hit Laguna Beach, Don Tanney, the county registrar of voters, said Thursday that the Tuesday election will be held as scheduled in the city.

“All the polling places are still available,” he said, adding that not one of the city’s 13 precincts, including one at the fire station in Emerald Bay, was burned.

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“Even those close to the fire area were spared,” he said.

Tanney said there are no local offices at stake in the election; only the seven state initiatives will be on the ballot.

The city has 17,820 registered voters.

Don Taylor, assistant registrar of voters, said people who will be working at the polls will be contacted as soon as the police allow people to go back to their homes.

“We’ll know better about the situation in a day or two,” Taylor said.

COPING WITH POOR AIR QUALITY

* Limit physical activity. Outdoor exercise or sports activities should be avoided.

* Close windows and vents in cars.

* People with asthma, hay fever or pulmonary illnesses should keep medications handy at all times.

* Asthmatics should confer with their doctors about increasing their normal medication dosages.

* Asthmatics who live near burned areas where soot, ash and smoke remain thick should consider leaving the area for a day or two.

* Use paper masks in smoky conditions.

* Do not sift through burned rubble.

* Seek medical treatment for any severe respiratory conditions, such as coughing up dark phlegm, or severe eye irritation and pain.

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* Mild sneezing and watery eyes can be helped by over-the-counter antihistamine products.

* For information on respiratory illnesses and physician referrals, call the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America at (800) 624-0044.

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