The American Red Cross is helping out west where more than 1,130 people spent Sunday night in shelters because of the raging wildfires consuming thousands of acres in that part of the country.
Volunteer Diane Sargent of Lockport deployed Tuesday afternoon to Lake County, California, where she will assist in the relief efforts. Sargent is working in Disaster Assessment alongside fellow Western and Central New York Region volunteer Sarah Perkins of Pittsford, who also deployed on Tuesday. Disaster Assessment teams go into the affected areas and help determine where relief efforts should be directed.
Red Cross workers have shelters open and are providing meals, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, health services such as replacing medications and eyeglasses and emotional support for the people affected by the fires. The Red Cross is also working with partners to provide care for evacuated pets and animals.
“Many of the people we are helping had to leave their homes quickly, taking very little with them as they evacuated. We are making sure they have a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on during this terribly difficult time,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Operations and Logistics for Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services.
Preliminary reports indicate that the Valley Fire in California has destroyed hundreds of homes and is threatening thousands more. The fire has already consumed 50,000 acres and mandatory evacuations have been ordered for almost 20,000 residents of Cobb, Middletown, Hidden Valley Lake, Seigler Canyon and Loch Lomond. The Butte Fire burning in Amador County has prompted the evacuation of another 10,000 residents and has destroyed dozens of homes.
In total, 84 wildfires are burning out west which have consumed more than two million acres. Red Cross workers are also responding to wildfires in Washington, Utah and Texas, opening shelters, providing meals and supporting first responders.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency App which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to wildfires and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.