Nearly three weeks after the devastating wildfires began in northern California, the Red Cross is there as communities begin to recover, making sure people get the help they need while continuing to provide shelter, food and a shoulder to lean on as they cope with the aftermath of these deadly fires. According to officials, the fires have burned more than 218,000 acres and destroyed some 8,900 structures, including thousands of homes.
Red Cross Responds
Alongside partners, Red Cross disaster workers continue to support several shelters and to provide food, emergency relief supplies and support to people whose lives have been turned upside-down by these wildfires. Dozens of emergency response vehicles are distributing hot meals and relief supplies to people in need. Red Cross disaster workers are also providing health services such as replacing lost medications and eyeglasses, emotional support and spiritual care. Local volunteers are handing out wildfire relief kits, including rakes, shovels, masks, gloves, garbage bags, sifters, eye-drops and sanitary wipes.
The Red Cross is working with a large team of partners to help residents move through the recovery process by connecting them to critical services and resources they need to get back on their feet. Red Cross caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people providing them an opportunity to share their needs, ask questions, and—for those who qualify—obtain financial assistance. Recovering from a disaster can be a confusing, emotionally draining and complicated process. Red Cross caseworkers are trained to help people create recovery plans and connect people with the services and resources they need.
Disasters like these deadly wildfires create more needs than any one organization can meet on their own. The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief and recovery efforts. Some of the partners we are working with include Children’s Disaster Services, the Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
Use Red Cross Wildfire Safety Tips
The Red Cross urges these three steps: (1) build a disaster kit; (2) come up with an emergency plan; and (3) be informed about how local authorities will notify, whether through local media or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.
You should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to have real-time information about the storm, shelter locations and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
How to Help
Help people affected by the California wildfires by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 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 this disaster.