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Red Cross Works Around the Clock to Help Wildfire Evacuees

Red Cross Helps Wildfire Victims

American Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock to help people in California as massive wildfires continue to burn and prevent thousands of residents from returning home.

The Red Cross continues to provide shelter, food, and relief supplies for evacuees. Health services workers are helping to replace prescription medicines and provide other support. More than 1,200 people accessed help, information, food, water, showers and support at Red Cross and community shelters on Wednesday.

The uncertainty of whether residents will have homes to return to makes this an emotionally draining time for everyone involved. Red Cross mental health volunteers are available to help.

In some areas where evacuation orders have been lifted, the Red Cross will begin distributing food and relief supplies as people begin to return home. In the coming days, the Red Cross will also begin to meet with individuals to help them plan their next steps and connect them with a variety of resources.

As of Thursday, more than 250 Red Cross workers have provided the following help to people impacted by the California wildfires:

  • Served 25,000 meals and snacks
  • Supported 4,200 overnight stays in shelters
  • Provided more than 1,800 health and mental health contacts
  • This is a complex disaster spread out over multiple communities. It has destroyed nearly 800 homes and is threatening some 13,000 more. Emergencies of this magnitude take a diverse network of organizations and services to make sure people have the help they need. The Red Cross is there– and we’ll continue to be there in the months ahead.

    The Red Cross is working with the local communities and residents to make sure we’re providing the right resources and support. This collaboration is critical to ensuring that people have the support they need.

    DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the Red Cross Emergency App which contains information about what to do in case of wildfires and more. The app contains wildfire safety tips and users can set notifications for fire weather watches, red flag warnings, dense smoke advisories and air quality alerts. You can also use the “Family Safe” function to instantly contact loved ones. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

    The Red Cross has also developed an interactive online map that people can use to learn about the size and scope of disasters such as the wildfires. Full details are available here. The Red Cross “Map Journal” provides the following information:

  • Location and size of wildfires
  • Evacuation zones
  • Road Closures
  • Location, address and population of shelters
  • Where to take evacuated pets and animals (large and small)
  • Standard map elements such as counties, cities, roads, rivers and mountain ranges
  • Demographic information.
  • WILDFIRE SAFETY With critical fire weather continuing in the affected states, the Red Cross has safety steps people should follow if they live in an area where a wildfire is possible:

  • If a wildfire threatens, be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
  • Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Confine pets to one room or spot so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
  • Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
  • Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.
  • Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car.
  • When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns and adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.
  • People can also get more wildfire safety information by watching this video or visiting the wildfire safety section of this web site.

    HOW YOU CAN HELP People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, 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.

    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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.