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Red Cross Helps As Flooding, Wildfires Force Evacuations

The American Red Cross is responding to relentless rain and raging wildfires in 14 states which have forced people from their homes. Thousands of Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food, relief supplies, health services and emotional comfort to those affected by the flooding and wildfires.

Almost 250 people impacted by the flooding and fires spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters in Texas, Alaska, California, Arizona, Indiana and Ohio. Millions of people from Texas to Illinois face the threat of flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill move north. Wildfires are burning in Alaska, California and Arizona. The Red Cross has shelters open and is ready to open more shelters and deploy more workers and relief supplies if needed.

“The threat from these floods and fires isn’t over yet. Rivers and streams are filling up across the Midwest and in other areas fires are burning out of control,” said Virginia Mewborn, director of disaster operations and logistics for the Red Cross. “We are responding across 14 states to help people and we’re ready to do more if needed.”

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

Since early May, the Red Cross has been helping in Texas and Oklahoma, serving more than 278,000 meals and snacks, distributing more than 151,000 relief supplies and providing more than 3,200 shelter stays. Red Cross workers are also providing health services such as replacing lost eyeglasses and medications, and providing emotional support to those affected.

WILDFIRES are burning in Alaska, California and Arizona, forcing people to leave their homes. More than 140 people spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters in California, Alaska and Arizona. 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, fires are burning near the Barona Indian Reservation and several camps, forcing people to evacuate. Red Cross workers opened a shelter for those affected.

The fires in Alaska broke out earlier this week and the Red Cross has shelters open and is providing health services and meals in the shelters as well as snacks and drinks to first responders. One of the communities affected is Willow, Alaska, the center of the state’s sled dog community. The fire forced both residents and hundreds of sled dogs to evacuate. About 200 sled dogs were cared for Monday night near the Red Cross Shelter at Houston Middle School.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Over the last several weeks, more than 2,790 Red Cross workers have opened 85 shelters, provided 3,400 shelter stays, served more than 590,000 meals and snacks and distributed 150,000 relief items.

People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, 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.

Contact: Public Affairs Desk, Telephone: (202) 303-5551, FOR MEDIA ONLY

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.