Sacramento radio personality joins recovery effort |

Sacramento radio personality joins recovery effort

Jeff Ackerman
Nevada Appeal News Service

Grass Valley – It was difficult to get Gary Dietrich to stand still as he unloaded several hundred of his Safely Out evacuation kits he and his team of volunteers brought to South Lake Tahoe from Sacramento in a U-Haul van Thursday morning.

Dietrich is one of those tireless humanitarians who sees a need and tries to fill it. The political analyst and talk radio personality saw that need up close and personal when he accompanied the Red Cross to Louisiana in the days following Hurricane Katrina.

“What I saw (in Louisiana) was a gap in the whole Katrina deal and how to get those who are most vulnerable out of there,” said Dietrich,

Who are the vulnerable? They are the elderly, disabled, the children at home alone after school and many more.

In fact, the Angora fire has served as a wake-up call to most of us who are nowhere near ready for the moment we may have just a couple of minutes to grab what we can and literally run for our lives, leaving behind a lifetime of belongings.

When he returned to Sacramento, Dietrich joined forces with the Sacramento Sierra Chapter of the Red Cross to develop what is called a Safely Out kit. “The kits provide the essentials that might one day be the difference between life and death,” Dietrich said.

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Through a $10,000 donation from a Sacramento-area church, Dietrich and his Citizen Voice group ( were able to bring 1,000 of the kits to South Lake Tahoe. They distributed many of them during a Wednesday evening Town Hall meeting at South Tahoe Middle School and spent most of Thursday morning handing out the rest of them at the fire lines down near Miller’s Outpost near the “Y.”

The Safely Out kits include:

• Door hangers. A red one reads “Need Help” and a green one reads “Safely Out.”

• A Safely Out bag to store medications and other critical information (prescriptions, insurance information, etc.).

• Safely Out information sheets, which you could leave behind to provide details on how you can be contacted.

• A refrigerator magnet for recording essential evacuation information, including contact details for nearby helpers to assist in the evacuation.