The American Red Cross is on the ground helping people in need after a busy weekend of disasters across multiple western states.
HILARY Red Cross disaster teams have emergency shelters open in California, Arizona and Nevada after Tropical Storm Hilary’s heavy rain caused flooding, power outages and numerous rockslides. Southern California response details can be found here. Additional information about our response in Nevada is available here.
Residents were evacuated from areas like Catalina Island and towns in San Bernadino County in California. Debris from rockslides is blocking some roads, several schools are closed in the affected areas, almost 60,000 customers are without power and more than 1,000 flights were canceled due to the storm.
Hilary has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, but the danger isn’t over. The National Weather Service warns that additional rainfall from the storm could lead to more flooding from California and Nevada north to Oregon and Idaho. Desert areas are at a particular risk for flash flooding, while many areas scarred by previous wildfires could face landslides.
WILDFIRES In eastern Washington, firefighters are battling two wildfires around Spokane which have destroyed numerous structures and forced people to leave their homes. The Gray Fire, located about 20 miles southwest of Spokane, has burned more than 10,000 acres and is only 10% contained. The Oregon Road Fire, raging out of control about 30 miles north of Spokane, has burned more than 9,200 acres.
Northwest Region Red Cross disaster workers responded immediately, opening shelters to support evacuees. Anyone who has been affected by the fires is welcome to stop by a shelter to get a hot meal and access other resources. Showers are available at each shelter site. More information is available here.
YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like fires, storms and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
FIND A SHELTER Anyone who needs a safe place to go can find information for open Red Cross shelters on redcross.org, the free Red Cross Emergency app or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). Download the app by searching “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.
Red Cross shelters are open to everyone in need regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status, and all disaster assistance is free. We don’t require people to show any kind of identification to enter a shelter, just their name and where they were living before the disaster.
We encourage people who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.
Our workers will do all they can to accommodate service animals and pets comfortably. If you go to a shelter, please bring your own animal crate, supplies, medications and food whenever possible. Depending on the situation, pets may need to be housed in a different location with support from animal welfare groups.
DONATION OF ITEMS We know that people are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Our first priority is to provide shelter and support to those affected — and financial donations are the quickest and best way to help those who need it most. The Red Cross will not accept donations of clothing or household items, as these types of donations divert resources away from our mission — whereas financial donations can be used right away to directly help those affected.