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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 21, 2020) — The American Red Cross mobilized several teams this week in response to multiple fires throughout the Northern California Coastal Region. Right now, Red Cross volunteers and staff are supporting evacuees with congregate and non-congregate sheltering sites, meals, and virtual health and mental health services.
As of last night, nearly 900 people stayed in Red Cross, county, and independent shelters throughout the region. We have also assisted more than 300 individuals in hotels.
For details on locations for shelters and temporary evacuations points, please visit this site.
Wildfires can occur anywhere in the country and can occur at any time throughout the year. The potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading a fire. If you live in a wildfire-prone area, prepare now, and work with your neighbors to build a fire-adapted community. Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. COVID-19 impacts us all, including firefighters, and an increase in infections may compromise their ability to respond to wildfires. Now more than ever we need to prepare ourselves and our communities for wildfires while taking recommended actions to protect one another from COVID-19.
"Fire season is upon us, and the Red Cross is ready to be of assistance wherever we are needed most," says Jennifer Adrio, Regional CEO. "We encourage everyone to have your go-bag packed with an evacuation plan in place for everyone in your family. And part of your preparation needs to include measures on how you will keep yourself and your family safe from COVID."
Be Red Cross Ready:
- Get a Kit: Learn the essential supplies to put in your family’s survival kit.
- Make a Plan: Plan effectively for you and your family in case of an emergency.
- Be Informed: Understand which disasters are likely to occur in your area and what you must know to stay safe.
Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19:
- In public, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering and practice physical distancing by keeping 6 feet between yourself and others. Don’t use cloth face coverings on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove it without help. Avoid close contact with people who do not share your home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water are always preferable, but if they are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, remote controls, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If you are at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness, continue to avoid all non-essential outings and gatherings. It is ok to go outside to exercise, walk pets, visit medical professionals, and leave during an emergency or if advised to evacuate during a wildfire.
To keep up to date with the Red Cross regional response, please visit this blog post: https://redcrossblognccr.org/2020/08/19/red-cross-teams-support-counties-with-active-lightening-caused-fires/.
About the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region:
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/norcalcoastal or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNorCal and on Facebook at RedCrossNorCalCoastal.