You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Month in Review – October 2017

American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties: Month in Review – October 2017 

SAN DIEGO – November 6, 2017 – The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties operates with the mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. 

National Disaster Relief Efforts

-In the last ten weeks, the Red Cross, along with community and government partners, has provided nearly 1.3 million overnight stays in emergency shelters for people affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. That’s more overnight shelter stays than the past five years combined. Shelters were opened in eight states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

- In response to the California wildfires, the Red Cross, community and government partners have provided more than 27,900 overnight stays in emergency shelters

- With the help of partners, the Red Cross has served nearly 9.4 million meals and snacks, and provided more than 5.9 million relief items to people in need

- Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 216,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected

- A total of more than 16,300 trained disaster workers, 91 percent of them volunteers, have been mobilized to support hurricane relief efforts. More than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers are still responding to hurricane relief efforts across Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and nearly 300 Red Cross disaster workers remain on the ground for California wildfire relief 

San Diego/Imperial Counties Support for National Disaster Relief Efforts

- We deployed 104 people from our region to disaster-affected areas and had a total of 39 people supporting the disaster relief operations in San Diego-based virtual assignments such as mapping and casework 

- We still have six people currently out supporting disaster relief operations in Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern California

- A San Diego-based emergency response vehicle was sent to Florida to support Red Cross response to Hurricane Irma and has since returned after supporting mobile feeding efforts and emergency supplies distribution 

- A San Diego-based shower trailer was sent to Santa Rosa to support the California wildfire response

- Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters like these. Visit, call the local Red Cross donation line at 858-309-1278 or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation 

Locally, the Red Cross still maintains normal operations in addition to supporting major disaster relief operations. Throughout October 2017, the following key programs and services were provided throughout the region which covers all of San Diego and Imperial Counties as well as American Samoa: 

Disaster Services

- Responded to 25 incidents, with 14 of those being home fires; served 19 families, including 46 individuals

- Provided canteen services seven times, serving 217 meals to first responders

- Imperial Valley River Bottom Fire Response – October 20-21: A grass fire broke out on the dry riverbed of the New River in Imperial, Calif. An evacuation advisory was issued, but soon lifted when fire progression was stopped. Ten Red Cross staff and volunteers coordinated canteen services for two separate meal deliveries for first responders

- Church Fire Response – October 21: A grass fire broke out in Campo with 50 people evacuated to the Golden Acorn Casino and a Red Cross Shelter Strike Team was placed on standby in case of a need to open a shelter. Eleven Red Cross staff and volunteers activated to respond to the incident with a canteen team heading to the temporary evacuation point with meals for evacuated residents. Thanks to quick work from Cal Fire and partner agencies, the evacuation order was lifted before the canteen team arrived at the evacuation point, so the meals were instead delivered to first responders

- Training Exercises: 22 Red Cross staff and volunteers participated in the October 25 AirEx training exercise at Lindbergh Field, simulating opening a Red Cross Friends & Relatives Center in the case of an airline mass casualty incident. 

- Nine Red Cross volunteers supported the October 27 County of San Diego shelter exercise, acting as mentors for county employees trained as shelter supervisors and providing logistical support of cots, comfort kits, signs, tarps and a Red Cross shelter supply trailer

- Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.: On Saturday, October 7, Red Cross staff, volunteers and community partners installed 320 free smoke alarms in more than 100 homes in Logan Heights o Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. Most fires occur in homes that lack working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death by half. Nationwide, our one-millionth smoke alarm was recently installed—and a documented 285 lives have been saved—as a result of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

- Another Sound the Alarm event will be held in San Diego in the spring and more information is available at

- Prepare San Diego Update: The original four-year regional resiliency initiative marked the success of reaching over 1 million preparedness actions and it was announced on October 19 that the Prepare San Diego program would continue with new focus on businesses and communities

- was re-designed with new content and downloadable information 

Service to the Armed Forces (SAF)

- Provided 7,962 services to 3,436 military members, veterans and spouses

- Conducted 10 outreach and pre-deployment briefings, fulfilling 100% percent of command requests and reaching over 2,900 military families

- Service to the Armed Forces caseworkers conducted family follow up on 496 emergency cases for the San Diego Region

- Hug-a-Hero dolls were given to 138 young children whose deploying parents are members of Camp Pendleton’s 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Combat Logistics Battalion 5

- The 11th annual Holidays for Heroes card and banner campaign brings holiday cheer to service members and their families. Cards or banners dropped off to the local Red Cross HQ (3950 Calle Fortunada, San Diego 92123) anytime between now and December 5 will be delivered to military units, family groups, military and veteran hospitals, and veteran organizations throughout the San Diego region. Some banners may be delivered to overseas installations and Red Cross stations. Holidays for Heroes instructions for cards and banners can be found at 


- Local Red Cross services were supported by volunteers who spent a total of 9,622 hours throughout the month of October to aid the Red Cross mission.

- The October 2017 Volunteer of the Month is Helen “Joan” Schleibaum. Joan became a Red Cross volunteer in 1941 and truly embodies the definition of a Red Cross volunteer. Over the years, she has volunteered in many different capacities and she currently volunteers in the hospitality area for the Recruit Blood Drive at the MCRD Recruit Depot. Greeting each Marine with a warm smile, she provides them with cookies and juice, and kind encouragement for the journey ahead. Everyone loves Joan, her bubbly personality and positive outlook is infectious. 

Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program

- A total of 24,852 women, infants, and children received nutrition counseling and support in October 2017

- For more than 40 years, the local Red Cross has administered the WIC program in San Diego County. WIC is a supplemental nutrition assistance program that provides families in the most vulnerable communities with access to nutrition education, breastfeeding support, community resources, and groceries. 

Upcoming Events

- Aztecs for Life SDSU Blood Drive – Tuesday, November 28 o San Diego State University and the American Red Cross are partnering to collect 400 pints of blood at the Aztecs for Life blood drive at Viejas Arena from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  To make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and use sponsor code: aztecs 

- Disaster Preparedness Academy – Friday, March 23:  At this fourth annual event, participants will gain valuable skills and insights necessary to protect their business, employees, family, and community from the potential impacts of disasters or emergencies. More information will be available at in the coming weeks 

For more information about the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, please visit 

About the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties

The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support, we provide lifesaving preparedness training; disaster relief services; services to deployed military personnel and their families, and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Through Prepare San Diego, a regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle. 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 connect with us on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter. 

# # #