VICTORVILLE, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2016) – The American Red Cross closed the shelter at Rim of the World high school at noon today after local emergency officials lifted all evacuations in conjunction with the Pilot Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Yevette Ramos, executive director, American Red Cross Serving San Bernardino County, was grateful for the community partners who donated to help those affected by the wildfire.
“Our community and partners have been very generous,” said Ramos. “As soon the evacuation orders were issued our partners quickly stepped up to help and we are so very thankful.”
Community partners included:
- BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse – San Bernardino
- Buffalo Wild Wings – Apple Valley
- Chipotle Mexican Grill – Victorville
- Jersey Mike’s Subs – Blue Jay
- Nestle Waters North America
Arrowhead Credit Union, a renewed Red Cross supporter, donated $5,000 for disaster relief. Donations like these help the Red Cross respond to disasters both large and small.
“We so appreciative of Arrowhead Credit Union,” said Ramos. “It is through donations like these, along with our wonderful volunteers the Red Cross can fulfill its mission; prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.”
As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for wildfires by:
- Downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Red Cross Emergency App contains tips on how to assemble an emergency kit and how to create a plan so all household members will know what to do in case they can’t make it home or they have to evacuate. “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows users to notify loved ones who are in an affected area. They can also use the app to let people know that they are safe. The app has a map with open Red Cross shelter locations and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. Preparedness content is available in English and Spanish. People can download the app in their app store or by going to org/apps.
- Creating and practicing a wildfire evacuation plan. People should learn about wildfire risks in their area and know what to do if one occurs. Plans should include a place outside the neighborhood in case family members cannot get home or need to evacuate.
- Creating an emergency preparedness kit. Pack a first aid kit and a seven-day supply of essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration, a manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents like your insurance policies, cell phone chargers, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other emergency items for the whole family. Set aside household items that can be used as fire tools (e.g. a rake, ax, shovel, bucket, chain or hand saw).
- Heeding news reports. Listen to local radio and TV stations for updated information. If threatened, be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice as wildfires can be unpredictable. Contain pets to one room so they can be located easily. Back vehicles into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
- Preparing your home. Select building materials and plants that resist fire. Regularly clean the roof and gutters to remove flammable debris. Identify and maintain an adequate water source outside the home, such as a small pond, cistern, well or swimming pool. Make sure driveway entrances and the house number or address are clearly marked.
- Limiting exposure to smoke and dust. Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in. Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner at home or in the car. If it’s too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns and adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves. Do not vacuum because it stirs up particles that are already inside the home.
For more information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, people can go to redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire.