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Red Cross Responds as Wildfires Force Thousands from Their Homes

Wildfire Damage
Odile could cause flash flooding in Arizona and New Mexico.

Wildfires have forced thousands of people out west from their homes and the American Red Cross is responding to help those affected.

Fires are burning in California, Oregon and Washington. More than 200 people spent Monday night in Red Cross shelters in California and Oregon where Red Cross Disaster Services workers also provided meals and health and mental health services to support people impacted by the mandatory evacuation orders.

WILDFIRE SAFETY Critical fire conditions are expected to continue in the region. The Red Cross has steps residents should take if their community is threatened by these fires. They should make sure the entrance to their driveway and house number are clearly marked. Other safety steps include the following:

  • If a fire is burning in the area, be ready to evacuate quickly.
  • Back the car into the garage or park it out in the open facing the direction you need to go to escape.
  • If you have pets, keep them in one room so you know where they area if you have to evacuate.
  • ODILE THREATENS SOUTHWEST Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Odile could cause flash flooding over the next several days in Arizona and New Mexico as the storm moves inland from the Baja Peninsula.

    Odile hit the Baja Peninsula with 110 mph winds, coastal flooding and as much as a foot of rain while at least 15,000 tourists were vacationing. If someone in the United States is trying to check on a loved one in Baja, they can contact the State Department’s Overseas Citizen Services at 1-888-407-4747.

    People in the path of Odile can download the free Red Cross hurricane app for mobile devices. The app provides alerts and warnings in the United States and its territories, and the “I’m safe” feature works in any location with mobile phone service.

    FLOOD SAFETY If flooding is a possibility, people should listen to local media for flood warnings and be prepared to evacuate quickly. If a flood or flash flood warning is issued for someone’s neighborhood, they should head for higher ground and stay there.

  • People should stay away from floodwaters. Whether walking or driving, if someone comes across flowing water, they should turn around and go the other way.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood danger.
  • DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross has developed a series of award-winning apps that give users instant access to expert advice on what to do before during and after disasters and emergencies.

    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.