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Red Cross Prepares New Shelters to Receive Rim Fire Evacuees

Local Disaster Shelter Initiative Training -- Royalton
Thursday night saw a total of 102 overnight residents however, that number is expected to rise.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Friday, August 23, 2013 – The Rim Fire in Tuolumne County continues to spread, leading to the evacuation of additional communities threatened by the blaze. As more evacuees arrive at the Mother Lode Fairground in Sonora, the Red Cross – in collaboration with the Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services – has begun the process of identifying and establishing a secondary shelter location to accommodate residents in the event one is needed.

Since opening on Monday, the Fairgrounds shelter has seen a steady increase in residents each day as the fire progresses. Thursday night saw a total of 102 overnight residents however, that number is expected to rise in response to Friday’s evacuations.

Despite the expected increase, the Red Cross is ready - fully prepared with volunteers, supplies, and resources to receive all evacuees and ensure that their emergency needs are met.

As the Rim Fire has grown, many members of the community have come forward to graciously offer assistance in the form of volunteering or offering donated items. While this help has been sincerely appreciated, the Red Cross reminds the community that they have all of the resources necessary to meet the needs of this emergency and to please refrain from additional donations.

Should individuals feel compelled to assist the Red Cross response, they are encouraged to visit to become a Red Cross volunteer. People may also make a monetary donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief through the site OR, if they wish to donate specifically to the Rim Fire response, they may contact the Sonora office at (209) 533-1513 or the Capital Region main office at (916) 933-7070.

As the battle for containment on the Rim Fire continues, offers a number of important tips and resources residents should do to monitor the situation and prepare should they be asked to evacuate:

  • 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 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.
  • Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.
  • 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. If you do not have air conditioning and it is too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere.
  • When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns and adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves. Do not vacuum because it stirs up particles that are already inside your home.
  • If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider's advice and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.
  • In the event you have to evacuate the area, items to consider bringing with you should include:

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Other essential items that could not be replaced if they were destroyed
  • More information can also be found on the free Red Cross Wildfire App. Get the latest fire news from local, state and federal agencies, find shelter information, as well as access preloaded information about what to do before, during and after a wildfire.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Capital Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossCRC.