LOS ANGELES, February 11, 2020 — The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region has closed its shelter at Queen Anne Recreation Center (1240 West Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019) effective immediately. The Red Cross has provided one-on-one support to assess the needs of the people affected, along with warm meals, a safe and clean place to sleep and comfort kits with personal hygiene items and toiletries.
"The Red Cross has been fantastic, simply fantastic,” said Jamal Faruki to Red Cross worker as he visited Hotel on Venice Blvd. in search of belongings that may have withstood the flames. "I have no clue where I would have stayed without the Red Cross.”
SEE: Photos from Red Cross LA Response to the Venice Hotel Fire (Flickr)
Red Cross emergency shelters are designed to meet the immediate, short-term needs of impacted residents until long-term efforts can get underway. For the past four days, Red Cross disaster workers mobilized to help neighbors affected by the Venice Hotel fire, and with support from community partners:
- Provided more than 40 overnight shelter stays
- Served more than 632 meals and snacks
- Make over 82 contacts to support health, mental health, spiritual care and disability needs
In 2019, Red Cross staff and volunteers helped more than 1,950 people affected by about 350 incidences including home fires in Los Angeles by addressing their urgent needs like food and lodging and providing recovery support.
HOW TO STAY SAFE Residents can follow these tips to help stay safe before a home fire:
- Learn the building’s fire safety features, including fire alarms, sprinklers and evacuation plans.
- Make sure all exits are clearly marked and not blocked.
- Know locations of all available exit stairwells, as one or more of the exits might be blocked by fire.
- Individuals with access or functional needs, including a disability, should learn where the closest area of safe refuge is.
- Identify a meeting place for members of your household that is outside and away from the building.
- Talk to your apartment management if you have concerns about alarms or sprinklers in your unit.
- If smoke or fire enters your unit and you cannot immediately escape, call 9-1-1 to report your location. Open a window slightly; wave a bright cloth or a light at night to identify your location. If smoke enters the unit, stay low to the floor to breathe the best air.
Free preparedness classes are available online and by request across Southern California as part of PrepareSoCal, a Red Cross campaign designed to address the needs of individuals and families to prepare for disasters by providing tips, tools, and training, and to promote community resiliency with a focus on Southern California’s most vulnerable communities. More information on this campaign and available resources can be found at preparesocal.org.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES
Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross is working with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign — which has reached more than 2.2 million people and saved 699 lives nationwide. In the Los Angeles Region, the volunteers and local partners installed more than 12,200 free smoke alarms and made more than 3,800 households safer from the threat of home fires during 2019.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/la or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA or @CruzRojaLA.