More than a week after the wildfires began in northern and southern California, thousands of people continue to deal with the devastation they left behind. The American Red Cross is there, providing shelter, food and comfort for people in need as the fires continue to burn.
More than 1,200 Red Cross volunteers are providing help and support at evacuation centers to offer safe refuge for people impacted by these devastating fires. A Red Cross Volunteer from Maui will be deploying to Sacramento to assist with Mental Health Services in response to the wildfires. A Big Island nurse deployed earlier this month to Southern California, providing health services to those in need.
Overnight, more than 1,000 people sought refuge from the wildfires in 15 Red Cross and community evacuation centers across the state.
Working with partners, the Red Cross has served more than 61,200 meals and snacks.
Volunteer mental health, health and spiritual care professionals have provided more than 18,800 contacts to provide support and care to evacuees. We’ve also distributed more than 16,300 relief items for people forced from their homes.
In addition to the wildfires, people are still recovering from Super Typhoon Yutu, which crashed into the Mariana Islands on October 24 with sustained winds of 174 mph, leaving massive destruction in its wake. The American Red Cross remains on the ground on Saipan and Guam to help those who have been impacted by this deadly storm.
Since the typhoon hit the islands, more than 15,700 overnight stays were provided to people in need. So far, 124 Red Cross workers have deployed from Hawaii and the mainland, and a total of 350 have worked to give comfort and hope to those affected, serving over 98,000 meals and snacks, distributing over 50,500 relief items like water, tarps, stoves, mosquito nets, lanterns, buckets, charging devices, and sanitation supplies, and providing 3,000 health and mental health services
One Red Cross Volunteer from Oahu will be deploying to Saipan to assist with planning operations.
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.