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Red Cross Helps as Flooding, Wildfires Continue

Montana Fire

Across the country, relentless rain and raging wildfires have forced people from their homes – and the Red Cross is there providing support and comfort. Just this week alone, the Red Cross has helped people in 14 states affected by floods and wildfires.

Red Cross workers are providing shelter, meals, relief supplies, health services, emotional comfort and are helping people plan their next steps. Red Cross shelters are open in Alaska, Arizona, Indiana and Texas to help people affected by the fires and flooding. In some areas of Illinois, the Red Cross is providing drinks and snacks to people filling sandbags.

Flooding is expected to continue over the next several days as the remains of Tropical Storm Bill move from Texas through the Midwest and head to the Northeast. The Red Cross is ready to expand our services by opening additional shelters and mobilizing more supplies and volunteers if needed.

Meanwhile, wildfires continue to burn in Alaska, Arizona and California and Red Cross workers are helping those affected in all three states.

FLOODING Thousands of Red Cross workers have been helping people in Texas and Oklahoma since early May when the flooding began. With this new threat of more rain, the Red Cross is still on the job, preparing to provide more help if needed.

The Red Cross has already provided 3,200 shelter stays and distributed 283,000 meals and snacks and 153,000 relief supplies. Red Cross workers are also providing health services such as replacing lost eyeglasses and medications, and providing emotional support to those affected. Trained Red Cross workers are also meeting one-on-one with people to help them plan their recovery and receive help from other agencies.

WILDFIRES Wildfires are still burning in Alaska, destroying thousands of acres and numerous homes. Red Cross workers have shelters open and are working with partners like the Salvation Army to provide food and drinks to those affected. Red Cross emergency vehicles are providing snacks and drinks to first responders. The Red Cross is also providing health services and emotional comfort and working with state and local officials to determine if additional help is needed.

Wildfires are also burning in California and Arizona, destroying hundreds of acres and forcing people to evacuate. The Red Cross has shelters open for those affected. In Arizona, the fire is threatening the town of Kearney and the Red Cross has a shelter open and an emergency response vehicle distributing snacks and water. In California, new fires started in Yuba and San Joaquin counties as well as in the community of Thermal. Red Cross workers staffed evacuation centers and provided snacks and drinks for first responders.

EMERGENCY APP People in the path of the storms and fires should download the Red Cross Emergency App for real time access to weather alerts, preparedness information, safety tips and shelter locations. The app provides expert advice on what to do during floods, tornadoes, wildfires and other disasters. The app also provides lifesaving information on emergency first aid for various situations such as what to do for heart attacks, heat-related emergencies and includes water safety tips. Pre-loaded content ensures that guidance from Red Cross experts is available anytime, anywhere – even without mobile connectivity. The Emergency App is available for free in app stores for smartphones and tablets and can also be found by searching for American Red Cross or by 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. This includes the recent severe weather and nearly 70,000 other disasters we handle every year around the country.

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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.