Red Cross staff and volunteers are responding to help people in the path of fast-moving wildfires threatening communities and forcing people from their homes in Southern California. The Thomas Fire is burning out of control in Ventura County and has already consumed 31,000 acres, and the Creek Fire, which began as a brush fire, is burning near Sylmar, in Kagel Canyon.
Because of these dangerous wildfires, the Red Cross is working alongside partners to provide shelter, food and comfort for people forced to leave their homes with little notice. And, right now, additional supplies and volunteers are being mobilized.
Red Cross volunteers are working to ensure that everyone – including children, the elderly, and those with special needs – get the best possible help during this challenging time. We are also working with partners to provide care for evacuated pets and we encourage anyone who needs a safe place to stay to come to an evacuation shelter, where suitable accommodations will be found for household pets. As always, service animals and therapy pets are welcome at Red Cross shelters.
Please note, everyone is welcome at Red Cross shelters and people do not need to be American citizens to receive our assistance.
If you need the location of a shelter or other help, you should follow your local media or go to RedCross.org and check the shelter location map. You can also find a shelter by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. In addition to being a great resource for locating Red Cross shelters, the Emergency App puts wildfire safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.
STAY CONNECTED WITH LOVED ONES
Visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website to reconnect with loved ones.
The site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website and registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876.
WILDFIRE SAFETY STEPS
The Red Cross urges everyone to follow evacuation orders from local law enforcement and have an emergency kit ready to go.
• Listen to your local media for updates on the fire and be ready to leave quickly. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape.
• Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.
• Arrange for a temporary place to stay outside the threatened area.
• Keep your indoor air clean – close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home.
• Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.
• If smoke levels are high, don’t use anything that burns and adds to air pollution inside such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.