California Wildfires - Information and Safety Tips
NEED SAFE SHELTER? If someone needs to find an evacuation center, they can visit redcross.org or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. You can also check with your local officials for information on where to find a shelter. Monitoring your local media may also help.
Some evacuation shelters may not have cots, food, running water or electricity; they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until conditions improve. Anyone who plans to stay in a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.
KEEP IN TOUCH It’s important to keep in touch with loved ones during an emergency. The Red Cross has two ways people can let others know they are okay. The Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available and open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English. Watch this video for more information,
The free Emergency App mentioned above also includes an “I’m Safe” feature you can also use to let others know about your current situation.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
WILDFIRE SAFETY STEPS It’s crucial that people listen to local and state officials and be prepared to evacuate quickly. Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape. You should also:
- Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications and medical supplies. Keep it in the car.
- Identify nearby shelter sites and know your routes to get there.
- Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
- Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.
- Arrange for a temporary place to stay outside the threatened area.
- Keep your indoor air clean – close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home.
- Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.