Story and Photo by: Cindy Huge, American Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer
Late Sunday night, J.P. Campos, a young man of only 20 years old, received a phone call from a friend warning him to evacuate quickly. There was, he learned, a mandatory evacuation order for Oroville due to the damage to the Oroville Spillway. Campos decided to initiate his own disaster plan for his family.
Campos immediately checked for weather and road conditions by searching news and weather on his computer. He knew he had to have several options for travel in case there was flooding. He also checked the location of Red Cross Shelters. Camps was worried about his 25 family members located in 3 different cities nearby. He decided to take nothing to chance called each one of them to direct them to the nearest shelter.
After loading his car with clothing and bedding, Campos and 3 of his siblings, drove to the store to buy basic essentials for his family. He knew that they would need water, snacks and some hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. He also bought diapers for his 11 month old brother. He was trying to leave nothing to chance.
Meanwhile, Red Cross volunteers were busy setting up shelters in several towns, including Cal Expo at the California Fairgrounds to house the evacuees. The numerous drills and careful planning by the Red Cross and its community partners made it possible for the Red Cross to quickly meet the immediate needs of the Campos family and the thousands of other families who evacuated.
The Campos family of 25 were safe and cared for due to J.P.’s quick thinking and preparedness. Although not all family members were able to be together in the same shelter to start with , eventually, they were all reunited at the Cal Expo Shelter.
“J.P. Campos is a perfect example of what we, in the Red Cross, stress in Disaster Preparedness. He made a plan, he followed the orders of the emergency officials and he kept calm. He did everything right, and because of that, his family is safe. He’s a shining example of what do in an emergency such as this,” Praised Cindy Huge, Public Affairs Officer for the American Red Cross. “Make a Plan, Be Prepared and Stay Informed.” Campos adds, “I am thankful for the Red Cross for helping my family. They have been so very kind to us.”