Christine Welch, Communications Director
Virtual Assistance and Lodging Available to Those in Need
SAN DIEGO — September 11, 2020 — Effective immediately, the American Red Cross will close the temporary evacuation point at Steele Canyon High School at 12440 Campo Road in Spring Valley and will provide virtual assistance for anyone impacted by the Valley Fire. At the County of San Diego's request, and with immediate client needs met, the Red Cross also closed its Temporary Evacuation Point at El Capitan High School yesterday. The Red Cross will continue to monitor the situation and provide hotel support for those in need due to residence damage, etc.
Red Cross representatives will be on-site at the County of San Diego’s Local Assistance Center to help residents affected by the Valley Fire starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 12, at the County Library’s Rancho San Diego branch at 11555 Via Rancho San Diego in El Cajon. The Local Assistance Center is designed to make it as easy as possible for residents to start the recovery process by giving them one place to receive help and information from numerous agencies.
SEE: Photo albums for the Valley Fire and El Dorado Fire (Flickr)
To date, the Red Cross has helped 415 individuals (149 families) affected by the Valley Fire, providing each person overnight hotel accommodations (154 rooms), including serving meals and snacks and providing resources to help get back on their feet and address evacuation-related needs.
The Red Cross sets up evacuation points as a rest site for those affected to assess their needs and present lodging options. Volunteers provide snacks, water and COVID-19 safety resources, all while following DPH and CDC COVID-19 safety protocols. Red Cross volunteers maintained social distancing, sanitizing routines and health checks.
For the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, the Temporary Evacuation Point at Redlands East Valley High School at 31000 East Colton Ave. continues to help those affected. The Red Cross has supported 128 families (309 individuals) who needed shelter by providing 137 hotel rooms nearby.
The American Red Cross Southern California Region 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 are 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.
Returning Home After a Wildfire
- Do not enter your neighborhood or your home until fire officials say it is safe.
- Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning.
- Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.
- Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety—warn family and neighbors to keep clear of the pits.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn your pets’ paws or hooves.
- Follow public health guidance on safe cleanup of fire ash and safe use of masks.
- Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
- Wear leather gloves and heavy soled shoes to protect hands and feet.
- Cleaning products, paint, batteries and damaged fuel containers need to be disposed of properly.
- Inspect the roof immediately and extinguish any sparks or embers. Wildfires may have left burning embers that could reignite.
- Take precautions while cleaning your property. You may be exposed to potential health risks from hazardous materials.
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.