A combination of strong winds and dry vegetation in California and several southwestern states has led to red flag fire warnings for the region and the American Red Cross has steps people should take now to get prepared in case a wildfire breaks out in their community.
Strong winds are possible from Los Angeles north to San Francisco and the Bay Area. In Los Angeles, parking restrictions are in effect in case roads need to be cleared for potential evacuations. Power outages are also possible as utility companies turn off the power to prevent fires caused by live lines going down in the wind. Strong winds and dry conditions are also causing critical fire conditions in Nevada and Arizona. People are advised to use extreme caution with anything that can spark a wildfire.
HOW TO GET READY Follow these steps to help make sure your family is prepared to either evacuate or shelter in place.
Create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Plan multiple routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. If you already have an emergency plan, update and it and review with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant and pets if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Because of the pandemic, include a mask for everyone in your household. If you already have a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date.
Download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the free Emergency app for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
You can find more wildfire safety information here.
WILDFIRE PREVENTION Sadly, people cause 85% of wildfires by burning debris, using equipment improperly, discarding cigarettes carelessly, leaving campfires unattended or intentionally setting a fire. To help prevent wildfires, follow these critical tips:
Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot components under your vehicle can spark fires.
Use equipment responsibly. Lawn mowers, chain saws, tractors and trimmers can all spark a wildfire.
Use caution any time you use fire. Dispose of charcoal briquettes and fireplace ashes properly, never leave any outdoor fire unattended, and make sure that outdoor fires are fully extinguished before leaving the area.
If residential debris burning is allowed — use caution. After obtaining any necessary permits, ensure that burning is not currently restricted in your area.
Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers away from the house.
Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) Through the generosity of our American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Responder members, the American Red Cross is prepared before disaster strikes. ADGP and Disaster Responder members help secure a reliable funding base for disaster relief services that enables the Red Cross to respond immediately, meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by disaster, regardless of cost.
ADGP $1M Members: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Bank of America; Best Buy; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale ; Delta Air Lines; Elevance Health Foundation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PayPal; PetSmart Charities; The Pfizer Foundation; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; Wells Fargo
ADGP $500k Members: Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bread Financial; Capital One; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Danaher Foundation; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental; Dollar General; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Google.org; HCA Healthcare; The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mastercard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; U.S. Bank Foundation; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; The Wawa Foundation
Disaster Responder Members: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES Corporation; Ameriprise Financial; Assurant; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; Build-A-Bear Foundation; CDW; Charles Schwab Foundation; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Foundation; DHL Supply Chain; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Equitable; FirstEnergy Corporation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Keurig Dr Pepper; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; LKQ; L’Oréal Groupe; Macy’s, Inc.; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress Firm; McKesson Foundation; MetLife Foundation; The Middleby Corporation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual; Old Dominion Freight Line; Organon; Pacific Life Foundation; Prudential; Raymond James; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a project of New Venture Fund; Ross Stores Foundation; RTX; Ryder System, Inc.; Santander; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; ServiceNow; Southwest Airlines; Stanley Black & Decker; Tata Consultancy Services; U-Haul International; Yum! Brands; Zurich