Christine Welch, Communications Director
Riverside, Calif. — August 2, 2020 — In response to the Apple Fire, the American Red Cross mobilized its disaster workers to provide assistance to those affected. The Red Cross continues to support a Temporary Evacuation Point at Beaumont High School, where volunteers are providing food, hydration, and more. All volunteers are following safety protocols and providing services while maintaining social distancing.
The provision of life-sustaining sheltering and feeding in wildfires and other disasters is a mission focus for the Red Cross, and during COVID-19 we have adjusted our planning to make sure we can safely deliver those essential services.
Generally, instead of opening shelters, the local Red Cross is prioritizing individual hotel rooms or dormitory-style rooms to make sure people have a safe place to stay during the Apple Fire, and can also maintain COVID-19 safety guidelines. The Red Cross is working with partners to secure hotel accommodations for those affected.
The local Red Cross is dedicated to helping those affected by disasters. We are working closely with local emergency management and our partners to coordinate relief efforts. Trained Red Cross volunteers and staff are on call round-the-clock and ready to assist in various aspects including sheltering, feeding, disaster assessment, casework, and more.
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 Apple 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 Apple Fire and other emergencies. Donate at redcross.org or call 1-800 RED CROSS.
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.