Christine Welch, Communications Director
SAN DIEGO — September 8, 2020 — To support greater capacity needs and at the request of the Incident Command Post, the American Red Cross Southern California Region has transitioned the Temporary Evacuation Point from Joan MacQueen Middle School in Alpine to El Capitan High School 10410 Ashwood St., in Lakeside, where volunteers are providing food, hydration, emergency lodging, and more. The San Diego Humane Society is on-site at El Capitan High School to support small animal lodging along with requests for assistance with horses at the nearby Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. Large animals (other livestock, excluding horses) are currently being evacuated to the Iron Oak Canyon Ranch, 12310 Campo Road, Spring Valley. The Red Cross also continues to staff a Temporary Evacuation Point at Steele Canyon High School at 12440 Campo Road in Spring Valley.
The temporary evacuation point is not a shelter, it is a rest site for those affected to assess their needs and for the Red Cross to present lodging options. Volunteers are providing snacks, water and COVID-19 safety resources at the site, then arranging lodging. Following DPH and CDC COVID-19 safety protocols, Red Cross volunteers are maintaining social distancing, sanitizing routines, and County Public Health is doing health checks.
On Monday night, September 7, Red Cross supported 90 families (252 individuals) who needed shelter by providing hotel rooms nearby. The Red Cross expects to shelter more than 115 families in hotels tonight.
Additional sheltering needs will continue to be assessed. If the number of evacuees causes the Red Cross to stand up congregate shelters we will work with local officials to set up a health screening process for everyone coming into the shelter, provide masks, add additional space between cots, and use enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices.
For the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, the Redlands East Valley High School at 31000 East Colton Ave. continues to help those affected. As CAL FIRE works to contain fire, the Red Cross will monitor the situation and respond with evacuation points as needed.
For those seeking refuge, please bring your emergency kit and any supplies you may need to help make yourself feel comfortable and safe, such as medication and pet food. Wildfires can spread rapidly and it’s important to prepare now and have your cars ready; please, do not wait until there is not enough time to grab your essentials.
Red Cross Southern California 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.
Those impacted by the Valley Fire and El Dorado Fire can mark themselves "safe" or search for friends and family at SafeAndWell.org, a Red Cross website and free tool that helps reunite loved ones during disasters.
Before a Wildfire
- Be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- Back your car into the garage or park it outside in the direction of your evacuation route.
- Confine pets to one room so you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information including your safest escape route.
- Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications and medical supplies. Make sure you include a mask and hand sanitizer with your kit. Keep it in the car.
- Don’t wait – evacuate: if you feel threatened or unsafe, you can choose to evacuate at any time. If you receive an official evacuation order, please heed the orders of local authorities and follow all instructions.
How to Help
The Red Cross is grateful for the generosity of the community and those looking to help those affected by the Valley Fire and El Dorado Fire; however, for the safety those being cared for and for the safety of volunteers, the Red Cross is currently unable to accept material donations of any kind. Due to increased safety measures for COVID-19, storing, sorting, cleaning and distributing donated items could be especially dangerous. Due to health code regulations, the Red Cross cannot accept donations of home-cooked meals or food items not prepared in a commercial kitchen.
The first priority for the Red Cross is to provide shelter and support to those affected, and financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to those who need it most. Financial donations to the Red Cross help provide shelter, meals, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance during disasters like the Valley Fire or El Dorado Fire and other emergencies. Donate at redcross.org or call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Please follow @SoCal_RedCross 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 Southern California 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 public to perform its mission. The Red Cross Southern California Region proudly serves San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. In addition to carrying out disaster preparedness and response programs, blood collection, health and safety training, international services programs and supporting the military community, the Southern California Region provides nutritional counseling through its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in San Diego and helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters through its Prepare SoCal and Prepare San Diego initiatives. For more information, please visit redcross.org/SoCal or cruzrojaamericana.org, or connect with us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.