ANCHORAGE, AK, August 21, 2019 — The Red Cross of Alaska has been on the ground since the McKinley Fire started, providing comfort, shelter, emotional support and other supplies to those who need it most.
Working alongside partners, the Red Cross currently still has two overnight shelters open to support those displaced by this disaster:
- Upper Susitna Senior Center (16463 Helena Drive, Talkeetna)
- Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center (1001 S Clapp St, Wasilla)
Since the McKinley Fire began, the Red Cross of Alaska has provided more than 280 overnight stays in Red Cross shelters.
Working with partners like the Salvation Army and the Upper Susitna Food Pantry, the Red Cross has served more than 680 meals and snacks to those displaced by this disaster.
Alongside partners, independently licensed health and mental health professionals are located in both shelters and are providing support, disaster health and first aid services, and mental health services in each of the shelters to care for those affected.
Since the fire began, the Red Cross has mobilized more than 40 disaster workers to assist those affected.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We know Alaskans are generous and want to do everything they can to help those affected by the McKinley Fire. For any disaster, the first priority for the Red Cross is to provide shelter, meals and other support to those affected, and financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to those who need it most.
The Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters every year, including home fires and major disasters like the constant storms and floods that plagued much of the country earlier this year. You can help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crises by donating 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. You can visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Red Cross is currently working closely with a number of community nonprofit partners and agencies to coordinate the collection and distribution of donated items like household goods, clothing and food to those who need it. More information on this effort is forthcoming. Before collecting or dropping off donated items, please visit the Red Cross of Alaska on Facebook for the most up-to-date information. In all cases, due to health code regulations, the Red Cross cannot accept donations of home-cooked meals or food items not prepared in a commercial kitchen.
Volunteers comprise more than 90 percent of the Red Cross disaster workforce and make it possible for us to respond to disasters year-round. After large disasters, the Red Cross first depends on pre-trained volunteers to help people in need in the disaster zone. Those who are interested in getting trained to volunteer should visit redcross.org/Alaska to fill out a volunteer application, so that they will be ready to get started as a volunteer as opportunities become available.
FREE RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP
The American Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hands for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, including emergency shelter locations during wildfires, floods and other disaster both big and small. Download the free app by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your mobile phone app store, texting GETEMERGENCY to 90999, or by visiting redcross.org/apps.
WILDFIRE SAFETY TIPS
For wildfire preparedness information and safety tips on what actions you can take before, during and after a fire has affected your area, visit the Red Cross of Alaska blog.
For periodic updates on the Red Cross response to these disasters, please follow the Red Cross of Alaska on social media:
About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In Fiscal Year 2019, the American Red Cross of Alaska responded to 435 disasters by offering food, shelter, relief supplies, comfort, hope and recovery services to 1,096 Alaskans in 50 communities statewide. Our preparedness teams installed 2,171 free smoke alarms and educated 1,409 youth through The Pillowcase Project. Our Training Services department enrolled 19,665 students in first aid/CPR/AED, aquatics and caregiving classes. Our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 1,299 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. In Fiscal Year 2019, our statewide workforce of 729 volunteers logged 40,735 hours in service to our mission and their fellow Alaskans. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.