American Red Cross volunteers are providing aid to those affected – proving that what can’t be shaken is the humanitarian spirit and the strength of the community.
The American Red Cross is on the ground in Southern California, helping people impacted by the two earthquakes that have shaken the region. The first temblor occurred on the Fourth of July, followed by another – even stronger – earthquake and thousands of aftershocks. The epicenter for both was near Ridgecrest, California and felt as far away as Las Vegas.
To help those affected, Red Cross disaster workers quickly opened a shelter in Ridgecrest, where hundreds of people have found a safe place to stay since the earthquakes began. Dedicated Red Cross volunteers from all over the state are now proudly engaged in relief efforts. As damage assessment continues, the Red Cross is providing comfort and care, including safe shelter, warm meals and emotional support.
Disaster Health Services, Mental Health and Disaster Spiritual Care volunteers are at the Ridgecrest shelter to provide for the psychological, spiritual and physical needs of the those affected. This is one of the vital gifts delivered to the community as part of relief services. Disaster Mental Health and Spiritual Care volunteers provide a compassionate, listening ear, a warm hug, and help people in shelters as they cope with the aftermath of the earthquakes and adjust to their “new normal.”
In addition to the Red Cross shelter, volunteers are also out in the community, driving throughout affected areas in Red Cross response vehicles, handing out meals and water to those who need them. Red Cross volunteers have also begun distributing emergency supplies. Each Red Cross response vehicle carries rakes, shovels, garbage bags, respirator masks, gloves and cleaning supplies, as well as bottled water and snacks to distribute to homes throughout the community.
Distribution is expected to continue as needed, and the Red Cross shelter will remain open as long as necessary to assist families who need a safe place to stay, a meal and shower and a shoulder to lean on – and most importantly, a sense of safety and community.
If you are in the large area affected by these earthquakes, the Red Cross offers these safety steps you should follow:
During an earthquake, avoid moving around. Drop, cover and hold on.
- Try to protect your head and torso. If you are sitting at a desk or table, get under it. Otherwise, drop wherever you are.
- If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
- If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
- If you smell gas, get out of the building and move as far away as possible.
- Before you leave any building check to make sure that there is no debris from the building that could fall on you.
If you are outside, find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.
- If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
After an earthquake, expect and prepare for potential aftershocks.
- Anytime you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on.
- Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
- Also prepare for potential landslides, or a tsunami if you live in a coastal area.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
BE READY FOR DISASTERS
These earthquakes serve as a reminder about how important it is to be prepared for disasters. All it takes is three easy steps:
GET A KIT. Your emergency kit should contain supplies for at least three days, including a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications and copies of important documents. Don’t forget to grab items, such as diapers, for young children, and any supplies for family members with special medical needs. See full details here.
MAKE A PLAN. Make sure to plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Include your pets in your emergency plans. Remember, if you and your family need to evacuate, so does your pet. It’s important to plan in advance to know which pet-friendly hotels are in your area, and where your pets can stay in an emergency situation. Find full details and easy-to-use plan templates here.
BE INFORMED. Be informed about what disasters or emergencies may occur where you live, work and play, and how to respond as safely as possible. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information. Take a first aid, CPR and AED course, so you’ll know what to do in case help is delayed. Learn how to get fully informed about emergencies here.
HOW TO HELP
Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross. Your gift is a commitment to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single donation will make a difference in someone’s life. To donate, visit redcross.org, call 1-800- RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Your gift helps people affected by disasters like earthquakes and countless other crises. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.