What are we going to do now?

Monday night changed the week in ways we are all still finding out about. The fires that wreaked havoc throughout western Ventura County decimated lives, neighborhoods and businesses.

From our vantage in Downtown Ventura, we not only had to cover the disaster in real time via social media but also had to find a way to present the newspaper without power, phones or internet. Tuesday was spent gathering images and stories. Wednesday brought us a generator, a jumble of improvised wiring and some luck.  Rube Goldberg would be proud. Our staff rallied and was able to put together the paper in time for a delayed press deadline.

Production artists build pages with masks on and running on generator power.

Most people don’t plan for disasters like they should and that includes us.  Transferring calls to a cellphone, daisy chaining together power strips and monitoring the gas supply so the generator doesn’t fail are part of what publishing is about this week. The end result is a paper that documents some of the events from this epic disaster.

Our problems are small compared to the 50,000 local residents who were forced to evacuate and the families who lost most everything they own and lifetimes of memories.

— David Comden