Six Month Update on Recovery for the Butte Wildfire

As you know, our friends and neighbors in Amador and Calaveras counties endured a relentless series of devastating wildfires this past summer. Today, our work continues, where Red Cross staff and volunteers continue to collaborate to ensure residents have the extra assistance they need to rebuild, not just as individuals but as a whole community, too.

Click HERE to read a six-month Stewardship Report that provides a first-hand look at your generously donated dollars at work, detailing our continued support and recovery efforts in the community.

Thank you for your support and commitment to help those affected by these wildfires. Your generosity makes the hope of recovery possible at a time when people need it the most.

Sincerely,
Gary Strong, CEO American Red Cross Gold Country Region

Below is a video that resumes our work over the last six months.

Advertisements

Debbie Calcotte Recognized – Butte Fire Response and Recovery

excellenceMany Red Cross staff and volunteers have contributed so much to the #ButteFire response this summer; however, one staffer is being honored by local government in a very public way.

Debbie Calcote as well as several #RedCross volunteers and FEMA Vals were acknowledge last week during a FEMA briefing, which was also published on the Calaveras Enterprise.

“I can not say enough about how much heart, passion, and dedication Debbie has to the Red Cross mission,” said Tracy McBrook, American Red Cross Disaster State Relations Director.

We are so very proud of you Debbie and the work you and your volunteer teams have done to serve those affected by the Butte Fire.

Presence is a mission and this is certainly evidence of that!DebbieCalcote.jpg

 

2nd Anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan – The Red Cross Response

Two years after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, families are rebuilding their lives, livelihoods, and communities thanks, in part, to generous donations to the American Red Cross.

By addressing a wide range of communities’ needs, we were able to help them recover in a way that is sustainable in the long-term, such as investing in water and sanitation, school repair, and small businesses.

Here in the Gold Country Region we were able to raise $1.055M in a day-long telethon that aired on KCRA3, which always shows how great and giving our community is. That was just what was raised locally; but overall, the American Red Cross received $88 million for Haiyan’s relief and recovery efforts. As of September 30, 2015, 98% of these funds have been spent or committed.

Donors would be proud to see what their donations have accomplished in typhoon-affected communities:  beyond lifesaving supplies in the storm’s immediate aftermath, donors would see repaired schools, sturdier homes, healthier water infrastructure, new business, and neighborhoods that are better prepared for future disasters.

Besides raising funds, our board members, volunteers and staff were able to do a lot of outreach with Asian Pacific Islander community groups in our region by providing information and helping them connect with family members that were still in the Philippines. Additionally, our volunteer Kathy Pascoe was helping with the relief efforts remotely by providing Client Case Work support.

This was one of the strongest storms ever recorded and it damaged more than one million homes, so the American Red Cross is helping people repair and rebuild homes made of materials that are more able to withstand strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding.

With American Red Cross support, 10,000 families are now living in safer shelter. This includes more than 3,200 families who are now living in new homes and more than 6,600 who received cash, materials, and technical support to reconstruct their houses to better withstand future disasters.

The Red Cross moved quickly to address people’s immediate needs after the typhoon. After two years, we are still in the Philippines, ensuring that families’ recovery is sustainable and helping people prepare for future disasters that may come their way.

For more information on this relief effort, pictures and video click here.

FAQ: Valley and Butte Wildfire Recovery

faq-post-pictureAs families re-enter their neighborhoods, many are asking how to stay safe, where to go, and what the next steps are as they map out their road to recovery.

We have gathered some resources to help answer a few of the most commonly asked questions the Red Cross is receiving from those affected by the California Wildfires. The following information has been developed with guidance from CalFire, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Public Health, Calaveras County,  and Lake County, California.

Please note that all Red Cross services are free.

Q: How do I know when it’s safe to return to my property?

A: Do not re-enter your property until fire officials say it’s safe to do so. Check the CalFire website for most recent updates. Keep your skin covered by wearing long pants, sleeves, gloves and masks while sifting through debris to keep ash and any toxic chemicals away. Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots which can flare up without warning.

Q: Is the water safe to drink?

A: Consult your local drinking water provider or check with your county officials to ensure the water is safe to drink. Wash any home-grown fruit or vegetables from trees or gardens before eating.

Q: Can I eat the food that was kept in my refrigerator?

A: If you were evacuated and/or without power, dispose of any food left in your refrigerator. Make sure to sterilize the interior and exterior of your refrigerator and freezer thoroughly before storing food when electricity has been restored to avoid contamination.

Q:  Where do I dispose of garbage if there are no trash facilities in my area?

A: Do NOT dispose of ash or fire debris in dumpsters or garbage bins, as it may contain hazardous waste. Cleaning products, paint, batteries and damaged fuel containers need to be disposed of properly to avoid risk.  Shop vacuums and other non-HEPA filter vacuums are not recommended to clean up ash. HEPA filter vacuums could be used, if available.  Calaveras County has a debris cleanup effort in place. Lake County is developing a debris plan; please continue to check http://www.co.lake.ca.us.

Q: How do I protect myself when cleaning up ash?

A: Wear a mask, gloves, long sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid ash contact with skin, as it may cause irritation. If you get ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible. Some wet ash can cause chemical burns. Do not use leaf blowers as they will cause ash to disperse in the air.

Q: Is it safe to allow my kids and pets near ash?

A: Keep children and pets away from ash and do not allow them to play near ash pits.  Wash toys thoroughly before children play with them. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn your pets’ paws or hooves.

Q: How do I stay healthy during the recovery and clean up process?

A: Cleaning, sorting and sifting through debris can be strenuous and emotionally taxing. If you experience chest tightness or pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, seek medical care immediately. Some ash may cause chemical burns when it becomes wet on the skin. Make sure to pay close attention to children and the health and emotional impacts your family may be feeling.

Q: Where can I find additional resources on getting disaster recovery assistance?

A:  You can register with the Red Cross for immediate relief needs. To do so, please talk directly with a Red Cross caseworker at a local assistance center, chapter location or call 855-224-2490. Please note that signing in at a Red Cross shelter does not qualify as officially registering for disaster relief assistance.

Those who registered with the American Red Cross for wildfire assistance need to also register separately with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-3362. Registering with FEMA is required to be considered for federal assistance, even if you have registered with another disaster relief organization such as the American Red Cross, the state, local officials or churches.  The Red Cross and FEMA are separate entities that treat client information as confidential.

Red Cross and KCRA3 To Host a California Wildfires Telethon Tomorrow

OKC_telethon16
KCRA
has once more stepped up to support the American Red Cross and our local communities!

Currently, the American Red Cross is helping more than 1,130 people at 7 shelters across Northern California that have been affected by the Rough, Butte and Valley Fires.

At the shelters, Red Cross volunteers are providing meals, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, health services such as replacing medications and eyeglasses and emotional support for the people affected by the fires.

The telethon is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15 from 4:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KCRA3, with a cut-over to MY58 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Help people affected by the California Wildfires. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.OKC_telethon15

The telethon number to make a donation is: 800-513-3333 and it will be staffed by Red Cross volunteers and corporate partners.

We have some exciting check presentations by our wonderful community partners!

And this just in! Salem Communications and I Heart Radio have begun promoting the telethon in their radio programming! (KKFS- the Fish, 1380AM-The Answer, 710AM KFIA, 105.5FM and I-Heart Radio Modesto!) 

Thank you to everyone who has been calling to help!

PS. If you are not able to call during the telethon, you can donate to the California Wildfires to the Gold Country Region of the American Red Cross:

  • Mail in  your donation to: American Red Cross Gold Country Region | Attention: Laura Thompson | 1565 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815
  • Call: Laura Thompson, r | 916-993-7080 | Please note, this is a recording, please leave a message and Laura will call you back to ask for your donation which will be designated to the California Wildfires.