With wildfire smoke billowing outside their home, Candace Deay, her husband Robert and their daughter Stephanie evacuated their neighborhood quickly in the middle of the night.
“I was in a state of panic,” Candace said. “All I could think of was that I needed to grab baby pictures” she recalled as she teared up.
The Deay family lives in Corbett, Oregon, an area under mandatory evacuations from the Eagle Creek Fire., which has already burned more than 31,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge.
The Deay’s found relief at the Red Cross shelter, established at Mt. Hood Community College on Sunday night. Dozens of responders stood up the shelter in a matter of hours to provide comfort to people who were displaced.
“You had everything ready for us. You were right there when we needed you” Candace said.
The shelter set up at Mt. Hood Community College is one of four wildfire relief shelters the local Red Cross is operating around the region and one of two set up specifically for evacuees of the Eagle Creek Fire. The other shelters are located in Stevenson, Washington as well as Brookings, Oregon and Vida, Oregon.
The Deay’s are among more than 225 people the Red Cross has helped at the shelters in Stevenson and at Mt. Hood Community College alone. As long as there is a need, the Red Cross will continue to be there to help.
“We needed to bring our babies, too,” Candace said, referring to the family pets. “You had crates ready for us. We’ve been so impressed.”
The Red Cross is partnering with Multnomah County Animal Services to provide accommodations for evacuated animals at an area of the shelter.
In addition to meals, water and health and mental health services, the Red Cross is also working closely with the Fire Incident Management Team to deliver regular updates to shelter residents on the fire activity and firefighting progress.
The community has shown an outpouring of support for evacuees, asking how they can contribute to relief efforts. If you are asked or if you would like to help, the best way to assist is to make a financial donation to the American Red Cross at redcross.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by calling 503-528-5634. Financial designated donations to "Disaster Relief" or to your "Local Red Cross" allows the Red Cross to acquire the exact supplies required for the needs of a specific disaster relief operation. Additionally, the American Red Cross may accept large quantities of solicited in-kind products or services to support relief efforts. To inquire about in-kind donations in bulk, call 503-528-5634.
As always, thank you for your support of the work of the Red Cross in our community and beyond. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out