Santa Cruz (July 3, 2013) – While most of the country is getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, wildfires and flooding continue to affect people in the East and West. The American Red Cross is busy helping with shelter, food, relief supplies, and a shoulder to lean on. The Santa Cruz County Chapter is sending two volunteers to Arizona.
Leaving Friday for Arizona is Janet Packer and Karon Davis of Aptos. The Gateway to the Golden State Region has deployed a total of four volunteers to Arizona – one from the Bay Area Chapter, one from the Silicon Valley Chapter, and two from the Santa Cruz County Chapter.
The Red Cross is providing assistance to those affected by the fire near Yarnell, Arizona, which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters earlier in the week. That fire has burned more than 8,000 acres and forced more than 1,000 people to evacuate.
Red Cross mental health workers are helping people in Yarnell cope with the tragic death of the firefighters. A community meeting was held at the Red Cross shelter at Wickenburg High School and Red Crosser Stephanie Vitanza talked to evacuees about their experiences and provided comfort items for children including coloring books and stuffed animals.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are 129 new fires burning, including 31 large fires, which are not contained. Fires are affecting people in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, California, and Nevada. A new fire in Mojave County, Arizona, has consumed more than 3,000 acres and forced more than 1,200 people from their homes.
HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP
Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
The Red Cross Safe and Well website is also available. People can access the site and let loved ones know where they are. There are several ways to register on Safe and Well, or search for a loved one. From a computer, visit redcross.org; from a smart phone, visit redcross.org/safeandwell or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.
About American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter
The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Cruz County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at www.redcross.org/santacruz or call us at 831-462-2881. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.