LOS ANGELES, MAY 18, 2021 — The time to prepare you and your loved ones for wildfires is NOW, announced the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region today as we reach the mid-point of National Wildfire Awareness Month. This past week, the Red Cross responded to two wildfires – Pine and Palisades fires – causing great concern that the prescribed wildfire season (June – August) is starting earlier and will be worse than last year.
Last week, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) reported that 700% more acres have burned in 2021 compared to the same time last year, with more than 14,000 acres burned in more than 2,000 wildfires just since the start of the year.
As we did last year, Red Cross LA is dedicated to alleviating the suffering of those affected by disasters and is training its workforce for what lies ahead. Working closely with local emergency management teams and our community partners, trained Red Cross volunteers and staff are on call round-the-clock and ready to assist with providing shelter, meals, disaster assessment, resources and more.
WILDFIRE SAFETY AND PREVENTION
GETTING YOURSELF READY IS EASY
Wildfires are dangerous and can spread quickly, giving you only minutes to evacuate. Protect your household, get ready now. There are simple steps you can take to be prepared:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Red Cross has procedures and resources in place to help ensure the safety of those we serve and our workforce, especially when it comes to supporting local communities during a wildfire emergency. The Red Cross is still providing the same types of support after disasters as we always have, including making sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat and resources to help them recover. We’ve put in place additional precautions, in line with CDC recommendations including social distancing protocols, masks, health screenings and enhanced cleaning procedures.
Ensuring people have a safe place to stay during a disaster is a critical part of the Red Cross mission, but how we support sheltering efforts may be different in each community, depending on local emergency plans and the scale of the disaster. In some instances, we may open group shelters, while other times hotels may be more appropriate.
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.