Washington, U.S.A. – The American Red Cross is running multiple disaster relief operations after last weekend brought wildfires to Colorado and New Mexico, and on the other extreme, more than a foot of rain to parts of Florida.
In Pensacola, Fla., the Red Cross continues to operate a shelter after major flooding caused the evacuation of hundreds of residents in Escambia County. The Red Cross is also distributing relief supplies to people forced from their homes.
Meanwhile, a fast-growing wildfire in Colorado”still 0 percent uncontained”has burned thousands of acres and led to extensive evacuations in Larimer County. The Red Cross opened a shelter for residents on Saturday in Laporte, Colo., which remained open as of Tuesday morning. The shelter gives affected residents a safe place to spend the night and also serves as an evacuation center, where people can check in and get news. The Red Cross is providing health and mental health services at this shelter and has partnered with the Salvation Army to provide hot meals.
New Mexico is fighting its own wildfires, including the Little Bear fire burning in Lincoln County, near the community of Ruidoso, and the Whitewater-Baldy fire in Catron and Grant counties. Preliminary assessments indicate that dozens of structures have been destroyed. The Little Bear fire has forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes and the Red Cross has shelters open for affected residents.
For those who live in an area currently under alert:
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- 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.
- Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
- The public can get more information by reading the Red Cross Wildfire Safety Checklist.
Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org for more information.
Image Courtesy of Dennis Drenner/American Red Cross