Warm Weather and Santa Ana Winds Increase Fire Risk

Fires often begin unnoticed and can spread quickly, every second counts!

SANTA ANA, Calif. April 30, 2014 — In light of the recent warm weather and whipping winds, the American Red Cross serving Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties has been in the community responding to disasters such as fires and structure damage due to fallen trees. We have a full roster of volunteers on standby and ready to activate as support is needed.

Additionally, we encourage everyone to be aware of fire hazards and take measures to prepare your home and family should fire strike. Fire is a serious threat to lives and property. Drought, high winds, and dry plants and trees can increase the chance of a fire. Fires often begin unnoticed and can spread quickly, every second counts! Talk with members of your household about fires—how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs.

Below are some basic tips to assist people in knowing what to do if a fire strikes. For more information on how to get prepared go to www.redcross.org and to download free Red Cross mobile apps visit redcross.org/mobileapps.

• If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.

• Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Have an evacuation plan for leaving your home and neighborhood

• Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.

• Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.

• Select a place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.

• Identify someone who is out of the area to contact if local phone lines are not working.

• Have your emergency kit accessible and ready should you need it, Suggested supplies could include:

o Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)

o Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply)

o Flashlight with extra batteries

o Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

o First aid kit

o Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

o Sanitation and personal hygiene items

o Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)

o Cell phone with chargers

o Family and emergency contact information

o Extra cash

o Map(s) of the area

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief can do so at www.redcross.org, 1-800-RED CROSS or by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation or going to a your local chapter office.

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.