Extreme heat, strong winds and dry conditions are leading to critical wildfire conditions in the West, as well as power outages in some areas. The American Red Cross has steps people can take to remain safe.
While conditions around some of the fires have improved, a new wildfire, the Creek Fire in Madera, Mariposa and Fresno counties, prompted new evacuation orders over the weekend. Combined with high temperatures and the Santa Ana winds, the western part of the country is facing extreme or critical fire conditions.
People are also living with power outages during unusually high temperatures. In California, Washington and Oregon, more than 289,000 homes and businesses have no power.
Follow these steps to be ready and to help you stay safe:
A wildfire can spread very quickly, leaving you little time to get to safety. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and obey all evacuation orders from officials.
If you’re trapped outdoors, crouch in a pond, river or pool.
Don’t return home until officials say it’s safe to do so.
WHAT TO DO IF THE POWER IS OUT
Power outages can be frustrating and troublesome. For prolonged power outages, there are ways that you can minimize loss and keep everyone as comfortable as possible.
If a power outage is two hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing perishable foods. During a prolonged outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to protect your food.
If you are using a generator, keep it dry and don’t use it in wet conditions.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to have power outage safety information right at your fingertips. The Emergency App provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during power outages and countless other emergencies. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores, or go to redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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