Friday, August 11, 2017

Red Cross Issues Wildfire Safety Tips

RED CROSS ISSUES WILDFIRE SAFETY TIPS


News Release from American Red Cross - Cascades Region
Posted on FlashAlert: August 11th, 2017 4:11 PM
Downloadable file: News Release: Red Cross Issues Wildfire Safety Tips
As wildfires burn across the Northwest, the Red Cross is urging community members to know what steps they should take to stay safe and prepare for wildfires.

PORTLAND, EUGENE, BEND & MEDFORD, Ore., August 11, 2017 -- With more than a dozen large fires burning across Oregon and Southwest Washington, the local Red Cross is sharing tips to help residents be prepared in the event that a wildfire occurs near their home. The Nena Springs Fire is currently burning near Warm Springs in Wasco County, and the residents of 70 homes have been forced to evacuate because of the fire. The Red Cross is operating a shelter for wildfire evacuees, providing food, shelter and comfort to people who have been displaced. The Red Cross shelter housed 14 people overnight Thursday night.

Residents in other areas of the region are urged to take these wildfire safety precautions to make sure you and your family are prepared.

Before a wildfire:
* Build an emergency preparedness kit.
* Make a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
* Stay informed about your community's response plans.

Right before a wildfire -- As the fire approaches your area:
* Be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.
* Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information including your safest escape route.
* Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications and medical supplies. Keep it in the car.
* Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative's home outside the threatened area. Identify nearby shelter sites and know your routes to get there.

Know when to go: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Evacuations:
* A Level 1 evacuation means "BE READY" for potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock.
* A Level 2 evacuation means "BE SET" to evacuate. YOU MUST PREPARE TO LEAVE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Residents MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.
* A Level 3 evacuation means "GO". EVACUATE NOW; LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately.
After a wildfire -- returning home:
* Do not enter your home until fire officials say it is safe.
* Use caution when entering burned areas, as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning.
* Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.
* Follow public health guidance on safe cleanup of fire ash and safe use of masks.

SIGN UP FOR EMERGENCY ALERTS: Check with your local emergency management office to sign up for emergency notifications. These notifications provide information on when evacuation orders are in place.

EMERGENCY APP: Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of wildfires, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Cascades or find us on Facebook at RedCrossCascades, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades.
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