This week, volunteers forming Home Fire Preparedness Strike Teams and going door-to-door to fire-impacted communities of Eastern Washington. “Given the extreme devastation of the Washington Wildfires, we realized we had an opportunity to make a real difference,” said Denise Everhart, Division Disaster State Relations Director for the Pacific Region. “People are very aware of the fire danger and the Red Cross has a wildfire app and we are starting a Home Fire Safety campaign in October.”
The kick-off of a nationwide campaign is slated for October 11, the last day of National Fire Prevention Week. The Red Cross, working together with fire departments and other community partners, has set a goal to reduce home fire-related fatalities by 25 percent over the next five years. The campaign focus is threefold: downloading the Red Cross Wildfire App and creating an escape plan; status of smoke alarms and battery; and creating a defensible space around the home.
“Seven people lose their lives each day, it’s a tragic figure yet we can change it. That’s why this is an exciting initiative,” said Everhart . The second day of canvassing (the team pictured here) found seven families without smoke alarms in their homes.
“We’ve started an important conversation in communities that have been hard hit by the wildfire,” said Deborah Snyder, Community Partnerships. “It’s a good reminder for most people, and we want to ensure that all residents have the tools they need to keep themselves, their families and their homes safe.”