LOS ANGELES, September 24, 2020 — Effective immediately, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region has closed the temporary evacuation point at Palmdale High School (2137 E. Ave. R, Palmdale, 93550) and will provide virtual assistance for anyone impacted by the Bobcat Fire. The Red Cross will continue to monitor the situation and has teams on standby to reopen the evacuation site, if needed. Residents still in need of assistance, can contact the Red Cross via the Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-675-5799.
The Red Cross is currently assisting more than 180 residents who were affected by the Bobcat Fire, providing each person overnight accommodations, meals and resources to help get back on their feet. Following COVID-19 safety protocols, Red Cross disaster workers will also be distributing relief supplies with emergency response vehicles in the neighborhoods where evacuation orders have been lifted starting Friday, Sept. 25.
SEE: Photos of Red Cross LA Disaster Relief Response for the Bobcat Fire (Flickr)
Since the Bobcat Fire first started in early September, the Red Cross has worked side by side with LA County Fire to address the needs of the community. For two weeks, we have played a pivotal role as second responders, providing support for those who have had to flee and find refuge. We have opened two evacuation points, starting in Arcadia and then moving to Palmdale as the fire shifted and moved into the Antelope Valley.
On Wednesday night, the Red Cross and our partners provided more than 180 people who were affected by the Bobcat Fire with emergency lodging. With the help of partners like The Salvation Army and Panda Express, the Red Cross has provided more than 3,800 meals and snacks. Volunteers have provided more than 200 individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs, or provide emotional and spiritual support during this challenging time.
We are thankful to all those who support us as we do our job, and to the more than 70 volunteers who dedicated their time to being there to help. Some taking vacation days because of the great need. This was all accomplished as the Red Cross Los Angeles Region was also called in to support the large fires in Northern California and Oregon.
It has been an intense few weeks and as we move into the height of wildfire season in October, the Red Cross is ready to set up evacuation points, serve meals, provide lodging and be there for the community.
The Red Cross sets up evacuation points as a rest site for those affected to assess their needs and present lodging options. Volunteers provide snacks, water and COVID-19 safety resources, all while following DPH and CDC COVID-19 safety protocols. The Red Cross workforce has maintained social distancing, frequent sanitizing routines and regular resident health checks.
Red Cross LA is dedicated to helping those affected by disasters. We work closely with local emergency management teams and our partners to coordinate relief efforts. Trained Red Cross volunteers and staff are on call round-the-clock and ready to assist in aspects such as providing shelter, meals, disaster assessment, resources and more.
WILDFIRE SAFETY: RETURNING HOME
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Do not enter your home until fire officials say it is safe.
- Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning.
- Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.
- Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety — warn family and neighbors to keep clear of the pits also.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn your pets’ paws or hooves.
- Follow public health guidance on safe cleanup of fire ash and safe use of masks.
- Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
- Wear leather gloves and heavy soled shoes to protect hands and feet.
- Cleaning products, paint, batteries and damaged fuel containers need to be disposed of properly to avoid risk.
- Visit redcross.org or download the free Red Cross Emergency App for more preparedness tips and safety checklists, localizable alerts, shelter locator and more.
Please follow @RedCrossLA on Twitter for the latest updates. Visit redcross.org/wildfire for information on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from wildfires.
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.