Honolulu, HI: November 23, 2018 — The deadly wildfires in California are now more than 90% contained nearly two weeks after they began. The American Red Cross remains on the ground, providing shelter, food and comfort to those impacted by these devastating fires.
Nearly 1,500 Red Cross disaster workers have answered the call to help since the fires began and 609 on the ground supporting people affected by the wildfires in California. A Red Cross volunteer nurse from Maui is deploying to Sacramento to assist with the Red Cross response to the Camp Fire. She joins another Red Cross volunteer from Maui who deployed earlier this week to assist with mental health services. A Big Island nurse deployed earlier this month to Southern California, providing health services to those in need.
As of Thursday night, more than 1,000 people sought refuge from the wildfires in 18 Red Cross and community evacuation centers across the state.
People are relying on Red Cross reunification services, including use of the Safe and Well website. There are just over 9,400 Safe and Well registrations for the wildfires, more than 85,000 searches, and nearly 2,200 matches through Safe and Well.
Working with partners, the Red Cross has served more than 77,800 meals and snacks. Volunteer mental health, health and spiritual care professionals have provided more than 24,000 contacts to provide support and care to evacuees. We’ve also distributed more than 17,300 relief items for people forced from their homes.
How You Can Help. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. Visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
FINDING LOVED ONES People continue to search for missing loved ones and Red Cross reunification services are helping reconnect them as quickly as possible. These services include helping people communicate through the Red Cross Safe and Well website, as well as helping with urgent requests involving unaccompanied minors and separated children, reestablishing contact with family members who have been separated within the disaster area and working with partners to resolve reunification-related inquiries. There have been just over 8,200 Safe and Well registrations for the wildfires, as many as 80,700 searches, and more than 1,900 matches through Safe and Well.
If someone is looking for loved ones they can visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website at http://www.redcross.org/safeandwell. The site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available, open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.
People can also use the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App to let loved ones know their status. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HELP IN TRYING TIMES Disasters are upsetting experiences for everyone involved—especially when they cause such massive devastation so close to the holidays. This is a time for people to come together and support one another.
Mental health experts recommend finding a balance with regard to media coverage. It’s important to stay informed while also limiting exposure, especially for children.
Also, be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746
About the American Red Cross:
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.