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American Red Cross Urges Wildfire Preparedness

Red Cross disaster responder at wildfire response.
Wildfires are a fact of life in our area and there are basic steps that everyone can take to help safeguard their homes and loved ones

SANTA ANA, Calif. – During Wildfire Awareness Week, and in light of recent fires in Riverside and Ventura Counties, the American Red Cross is reminding all Californians to be prepared.

“Wildfires are a fact of life in our area and there are basic steps that everyone can take to help safeguard their homes and loved ones,” said Maxine Margaritis, regional CEO for the American Red Cross serving Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

During wind driven fires, firefighting resources may be spread thin. Because of this, it is important to do everything possible to protect properties from damage and families from injury. A few tips to accomplish this are:

  • Learn about the risks in your area.
  • Make sure driveway entrances and your house number or address are clearly marked.
  • Regularly clean roofs and gutters.
  • Set aside household items that can be used as fire tools: a rake, ax, bucket and shovel, etc. You may need to fight small fires before emergency responders arrive.
  • Make a list of important and irreplaceable items, such as insurance information, photo albums and address books; know where those items are; and bring them with you if you have to evacuate.
  • Plan and practice two ways out of your neighborhood in case your primary route is blocked.
  • Make sure you have your needed supplies ready in case of an evacuation. Visit for a suggested list.
  • More information on how to prepare for wildfires is available at or by downloading the free Wildfire app for Android and iPhone devices.

    About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at