It’s been a long, hard two weeks for thousands of people in northern California impacted by the recent devastating wildfires and the American Red Cross is there, providing shelter and comfort to those in need with the help of community partners and volunteers.
People impacted by these fires have now been out of their homes since mid-August and for some, the fires have taken everything. As of Friday morning, more than 1,700 homes may have been destroyed and at least 857,000 acres burned by the largest fires — the LNU Lightning Complex fire, SCU Lightning Complex fire and the CZU August Complex fire. Two fires — the LNU Lightning Complex fire and the SCU Lightning Complex fire — are among California’s three largest wildfires in recorded history. Firefighters have made great progress in containing these fires, but record-setting heat and dry weather conditions are forecast for the holiday weekend.
“The fires are still burning, although slowly being contained,” said Denise Everhart, Division Disaster Executive, Pacific Division, for the Red Cross. “People have been in hotels or shelters for more than two weeks. There are some that have been out of work for that long. They need food, prescription assistance, someone to listen and information about their evacuation. And the Red Cross is there for them.”
RED CROSS RESPONSE Hundreds of Red Crossers are working around the clock to provide food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to the thousands of people affected by the wildfires. Several thousand people are still being provided emergency lodging by the Red Cross and our partners in shelters and hotels. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has already served more than 43,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 10,700 relief items to people in need. Volunteers have also provided more than 6,000 individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs or provide emotional and spiritual support during this challenging time.
FINDING SHELTER To find an open shelter, go to the nearest temporary evacuation point, visit redcross.org or view open shelters through the Red Cross Emergency app. If you don’t have access to a computer or smart phone, call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) to be directed to sheltering options near you.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice on wildfires. The Red Cross First Aid app provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
It's been a busy wildfire season in California and the Red Cross has been helping. Find out what Red Cross disaster workers have done since July here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by the California wildfires by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters. This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance. Ensure your donation helps people affected by the California wildfires by choosing that option on redcross.org/donate or 800-RED-CROSS.
If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review our most urgently needed volunteer positions here: http://redcross.org/volunteertoday.
WILDFIRE SAFETY STEPS
Don’t return home until officials say it’s safe to do so.
- Inspect the roof immediately and extinguish any sparks or embers. Wildfires may have left embers that could reignite.
- Check your home for embers that could cause fires. Look for signs of a fire including smoke or sparks.
- Avoid damaged or downed power lines, poles and wires.
- Keep your animals under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn them.
- Wet down debris to minimize breathing in dust particles.
- Wear leather gloves and shoes with heavy soles.
- Throw out any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; UPS; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Capital One; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative; Ford Motor Company; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Grainger; HCA Healthcare; IBM Corporation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; LHC Group; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PayPal; PepsiCo Foundation; Progressive Insurance; PwC Charitable Foundation; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Sands Cares; Southwest Airlines; The Starbucks Foundation; Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; The USAA Foundation, Inc.; Visa Foundation; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; American Express; Assurant; AstraZeneca; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; BMW of North America; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; Consumer Cellular; CSX; DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Dominion Energy; Duke Energy; Duke Realty; Equitable; Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Humble Bundle; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Lenovo; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Mastercard; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; The Pfizer Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Technologies; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; Trane Technologies Charitable Foundation; U-Haul International; and U.S. Bank Foundation.