Critical wildfire weather is expected in parts of the west over the next several days and the American Red Cross urges people in those areas to get prepared now.
Several regions in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, California, Nevada and Oregon are experiencing windy and dry conditions through the next several days which could lead to wildfires. Wildfires this year have already outpaced what we experienced in 2020 and the threat isn’t over. Thus far, the country has experienced more than 46,000 wildfires which have destroyed almost 6 million acres.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW Have access to alerts and notifications so you can monitor conditions and receive instructions from local officials, even during a power outage. Keep track of fires near you so you can be ready to evacuate quickly. You may have only minutes to get out. Register to receive any free emergency alerts from your community. Understand your community’s plan to notify individuals with disabilities.
BE PREPARED TO EVACUATE AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE and obey all evacuation orders from officials. Follow these steps (if time allows):
RED CROSS WILL PROVIDE SAFE SHELTER The Red Cross will continue to make sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat and resources to help them recover after a disaster. Ensuring people have a safe place to stay during a disaster is a critical part of the Red Cross mission, but how we support sheltering efforts may be different in each community, depending on local emergency plans and the scale of the disaster. In most cases this year, we will open group shelters. However, in some communities, hotels may still be more appropriate if the risk of COVID-19 is particularly high.
The Red Cross will also keep in place many of the safety precautions implemented in 2020. These include masks, health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing.
YOU CAN HELP PEOPLE affected by wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift is a commitment to helping people in need, and every single donation matters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
RED CROSS HELPING SINCE JUNE Large, devastating wildfires have scorched several million acres and destroyed many homes and other structures. Red Cross disaster workers have been on the ground since June helping people affected by back-to-back massive wildfires.
Since June, we’ve provided more than 19,000 overnight stays. Since the fires began, more than 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers have supported relief efforts in person or virtually. About 100 volunteers are still active across the state today. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has provided nearly 100,000 meals and snacks and distributed some 4,300 relief items including comfort kits, fire kits, and other supplies to help people in need. These kits include items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, cleaning supplies and sifters.
Trained Red Cross volunteers have made 17,000 contacts providing emotional support, health services and spiritual care for people in need. The Red Cross has also provided financial assistance to 940 households — encompassing nearly 2,100 people — who have experienced loss due to the recent California Wildfires.
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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