~Capital Region deploys 16 volunteers to Washington for wildfire relief~
The Carlton Complex fires in eastern Washington has so far burned more than 280,000 acres and destroyed more than 150 homes. Red Cross disaster relief efforts are underway as volunteers from around the country are responding to provide shelter for evacuated residents and emergency relief for all those affected.
The Red Cross Capital Region has thus far deployed 16 volunteers to serve in various service capacities – delivering mass care and shelter services, coordinating logistics, and providing casework for residents who have lost their homes, and more.
“We are saddened to see the devastation of these wildfires in eastern Washington, but we are also proud to provide support to the relief efforts in the form of our highly trained volunteers,” said Kathleen Weis, Chief Executive Officer for the Red Cross Capital Region. “Wildfires like this are a stark reminder of our own risks here in California and the need to be prepared for such disasters.”
California is certainly no stranger to wildfires. The ongoing drought in the state has resulted in fire risks and fire activity to increase sharply throughout the year. It is important that we all take steps to recognize the risks and be proactive in our approach to be prepared for such disasters.
The Red Cross offers a number of tips and resources to help prepare you, your family, and your home in the event of a wildfire.
- Post emergency phone numbers by every phone in your home.
- Clear and maintain “Defensible Space” around your home, free of dry vegetation and flammable materials.
- Make sure driveway entrances and your house number or address are clearly marked.
- Select building materials and plants that resist fire.
- Regularly clean roofs and gutters.
- Build an emergency kit with enough food, water, clothing, copies of important documents, and supplies to sustain every member of your household (including pets) for at least 72 hours.
- Establish an emergency action plan for you and your family
- Plan and practice two ways out of your neighborhood in case your primary route is blocked.
- Select a place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.
- Identify someone who is out of the area to contact if local phone lines are not working.
DURING A WILDFIRE
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. If told to evacuate, evacuate. Don’t wait.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
- Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
- Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.
- Limit exposure to smoke and dust
- If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider’s advice and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.
Additionally, you can download FREE Red Cross mobile apps to help you be prepared for emergencies:
WILDFIRE APP You can also download the free Red Cross Wildfire App for preloaded content that lets users know what they should do before, during and after a wildfire.
FIRST AID APP Folks should also download the Red Cross First Aid app to have information on hand about how to handle the most common first aid emergencies.