LOS ANGELES, June 9, 2020 – Wildfire season has arrived in southern California. With COVID-19 in mind, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region is ready to respond with its lifesaving mission and encourages Angelenos to review and adjust their emergency plans now.
SEE: Video of Red Cross Wildfire Public Safety Announcement (YouTube)
“Red Cross LA disaster workers are prepared to respond should disaster strike, with new protocols in place,” affirmed Joselito Garcia-Ruiz, Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Red Cross in Los Angeles. “The ongoing pandemic has shifted emergency plans, and it is more important than ever for Angelenos to prepare in advance by taking three simple actions: 1) Get a kit. 2) Make a plan. 3) Be informed.”
To ensure people can evacuate and shelter safely, the Red Cross will prioritize the use of individual hotel or dormitory-style rooms. The Red Cross is working with local emergency management and public health authorities, following CDC guidance, to make sure people have a safe place to stay during a disaster.
Should a wildfire necessitate a large emergency shelter, the Red Cross is prepared to implement additional safety precautions. Measures would include a health screening process for people arriving at a shelter, distribution of free masks to evacuees and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices while in operation. Red Cross shelters opened during the Coronavirus outbreak, will feature additional space between cots and allow evacuees to maintain safe, social distances. For evacuees with symptoms of an infection, isolation-care areas within the shelter will be provided.
Visit redcross.org/wildfire for full information about what to do before, during and after a wildfire. To remain safe in the event of a wildfire during the pandemic, follow these Red Cross guidelines:
MAKE A PLAN Wildfires often force people to leave their homes quickly and travel to a safe place outside the affected area. If authorities advise you to evacuate, be prepared to leave immediately with your evacuation kit (“go bag” of emergency supplies).
BUILD A KIT Assemble two kits of emergency supplies and a one-month supply of prescription medication. Start with this basic supply list:
Some supplies may be hard to get, and availability will worsen in a disaster, so start gathering supplies now.
BE INFORMED Have access to weather alerts and community notifications. Be sure that you can receive official notifications even during a power outage. Always follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
Take a First Aid and CPR/Course online to learn what to do in case emergency help is delayed. Download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for your area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. These apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
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.