Time to Evacuate? Be Red Cross Ready

As the Red Cross continues to respond to the Camp Fire disaster in Butte County, we want to make sure you have the items you need close at hand should you have to evacuate.

Preparation is important!

Listen to local area radio stations, watch local TV news, and check your city and county websites for the latest wildfire information. Check every 30 minutes to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape.

Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.

Identify nearby shelter sites and review directions to get there.

Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.

Keep your indoor air clean. Close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home.

Stock up on N-95 air respirator masks to help block smoke particles.

Review the Emergency Kit List below to ensure you have everything you need should you have to evacuate your home in an emergency.

Once you build your emergency kit, it can be helpful to keep it in your car so it’s with you when you evacuate.

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit, as needed.

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
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Twice is Enough

By Georgia Duncan

“I couldn’t believe it could happen twice.” That’s how Heather Hournay, an Event Based Volunteer with the American Red Cross, began our conversation.

Heather and her family reside in Redding, California. She explained that on Friday the 13th in January, 2017 she and her family were sleeping when her husband awoke and discovered a fire in the ceiling of their daughter’s room. Just as the family had everyone and all the pets out of the house there was an explosion and the home was destroyed.

Heather said her church contacted the Red Cross and a Disaster Action Team arrived at her home. Red Cross volunteers offered the family comfort, gave them much-needed hugs and offered them assistance to get through the next few days. The family began their road to recovery.

Fast-forward to Thursday, July 26, 2018. The Carr Fire began moving toward her new home. Heather and her husband gathered their children, their pet rabbit, Guinea pig and dog and fled to a friend’s home.  As of today she is unsure if she has a home to return to.

Knowing her family was safe, Heather began searching for a place she could help others affected by the fire. She found the shelter at Shasta College that was helping evacuees. She found the Red Cross new volunteer intake area and applied. “It only took about 15 minutes and I was an official Event Based Volunteer,” reported Heather. Immediately she began talking to evacuees, offering a sympathetic ear and when appropriate, a hug. Heather said she has laughed and cried with other in the same situation she finds herself.

When asked she had decided to volunteer, Heather said, “I just had to work and serve to get through this.”