The Dog Days of Summer are bringing different weather challenges to people across the country as wildfires consume thousands of acres out west and record-breaking heat has lots of us breaking out in a sweat. The American Red Cross has safety steps people can follow if faced with either weather situation.
There are so many wildfires burning right now, officials have raised the preparedness level to the highest – Level 5 – which means there may not be enough resources to battle the fires. It is only the fifth time the country has reached this level in the last ten years. The USDA Forest Service reports there are 176 new fires and 95 fires which remain uncontained. Critical fire weather will continue out west for the next several days.
Red Cross workers have shelters open in California, Oregon and Washington for people forced to leave their homes as fire threatens their neighborhood. The Red Cross is also providing meals and health and mental health services and helping evacuees contact their loved ones through the Red Cross Safe and Well web site.
If someone is an area where wildfires are possible, they should follow these safety steps:
It’s August and much of the country is experiencing warmer temperatures with excessive heat warnings up for parts of California, Nevada and Arizona. Follow these safety tips when the temperatures rise:
For more information on how to stay safe during the current heat, including signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, visit the Red Cross heat wave safety information.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP Everyone can also download the free 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, extreme heat and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.