Red Cross Helps as Wildfires Threaten Homes, Businesses

Red Cross Responds
If wildfires are a threat, be ready to evacuate quickly.

Wildfires are forcing people in California from their homes and the American Red Cross is on the scene, providing food and shelter for those affected.

The fires have consumed more than 100,000 acres and officials have mandatory and voluntary evacuations in place. More than 800 homes and businesses are threatened.

The Red Cross has shelters and evacuation centers open with more shelters, supplies and workers standing by if needed. Red Cross workers are providing meals for first responders and people forced to leave their homes. The Red Cross will continue to offer shelter and food for as long as needed. Working through local partners, a shelter for pets is nearby and the Southern Baptist Convention kitchen is on site to prepare meals.

Fires are also burning in Washington and Oregon where residents are also under mandatory evacuation orders. The Red Cross has shelters open and is working with officials to determine what other assistance is needed.

Meanwhile, excessive rainfall caused mudslides that closed roads and affected thousands of people in San Bernardino County in California. Red Cross workers opened a shelter and evacuation center and provided meals for those affected.

WILDFIRE SAFETY If someone is living in an area where wildfires are a threat, they should be ready to evacuate quickly by backing the car into the garage or parking it out in the open facing the direction needed to escape.

Other safety steps include the following:

  • Make sure the entrance to the driveway and house number is clearly marked and plan two ways to get out of the neighborhood in case one is blocked.
  • If you have pets, keep them in one room so you know where they are if you have to evacuate.
  • Clean your roof and gutter.
  • Identify and maintain a water source outside your home such as a small pond, well or swimming pool.
  • Have items on hand that can be used as fire tools such as a rake, axe, hand saw or chain saw, bucket and shovel.
  • Select a place for members of your household to meet away from the house in case you can’t get home or are ordered to evacuate.
  • WILDFIRE APP You can also download the free Red Cross Wildfire App for preloaded content that lets users know what they should do before, during and after a wildfire.

    FIRST AID APP Folks should also download the Red Cross First Aid app to have information on hand about how to handle the most common first aid emergencies.

    Both apps are available for iPhone and Android devices.

    HOW YOU CAN HELP A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help people affected by wildfires and other disasters. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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