Red Cross Opens Shelters for Evacuees of Valley Fire
Red Cross Media Hotline: 855-559-0333
Impacted residents staying elsewhere are encouraged to stop by for resources and information
(Kelseyville, California – September 13, 2015) – In response to the Valley Fire that erupted in Lake County on Saturday afternoon, American Red Cross local disaster workers have opened two shelters: Kelseyville High School at 5480 Main Street in Kelseyville and Napa County Fairgrounds at 1435 N. Oak Street in Calistoga, CA. At the fairgrounds, we have partnered with Petaluma Animal Services to care for the evacuated pets and animals. There is also a shelter operated by Lake County at the Clearlake Senior Center at 3245 Bowers Avenue in Clearlake. Saturday night, nearly 300 residents spent the night in the Red Cross shelters.
The shelters are providing immediate needs of those affected, including a safe place to stay, food (dinner, snacks), water, medicines and health services, cleaning supplies, emotional support and other support resources. Impacted residents are welcome to stop by during the day even if they choose to spend the night elsewhere.
“Firefighters are doing heroic work in trying to contain the fire and keep residents safe, and it’s our honor to support them in every way possible” said Jeff Baumgartner, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of the California Northwest. “We are working closely with the county officials to make sure all sheltering needs are met, and are prepared to scale up our support if needed.”
RESPONSE UPDATES ONLINE
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The Red Cross maintains a variety of resources including a cadre of trained volunteers and equipment that allows the organization to be ready to respond 24/7 to provide help to people affected by disasters. As droughts continue and fires spread, the Red Cross will continue to work within communities to provide the needed resources to help people respond and recover from wildfires – even after the smoke clears.
BE PREPARED – WILDFIRE TIPS
Wildfires spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. The Red Cross urges residents to follow all evacuation orders from local enforcement and be prepared. All families should have an emergency game plan for disasters large and small. Some basic wildfire safety tips are:
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Back cars into driveways or park in open spaces facing the direction of escape.
- Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
An average of 90% of Red Cross workers are local volunteers. By empowering individuals to help their neighbors when they need it most, we strengthen each community and make it more resilient to disasters large and small. The Red Cross has enough volunteers for this response at this time. Meantime, if you want to be trained as a Red Cross disaster volunteer to respond to future disasters, sign up at www.redcross.org/volunteer.
A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help provide shelter for someone who has had to leave their home and food and water for them to eat. Help people affected by disasters like wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
IN-KIND GOODS DONATIONS
We appreciate the good intentions of people who want to donate items, but financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to the people who need it most. The Red Cross isn’t equipped to handle a large influx of donations such as household items, clothing or food that may or may not be useful to victims as it takes time and money to store, sort and distribute donated items. If community members still like to donate goods, we recommend they contact other organizations in their community and inquire if they are accepting donations.