With wildfire season at hand, the Red Cross urges downloading a free emergency app

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – This week marks the official start of wildfire season in Oregon, as parts of Washington state issue red flag warnings Now it’s time to prepare your home and your family to disasters of all kinds.

PREPARE YOUR FAMILY NOW With the increasing risk of weather-related disasters, like wildfires, it’s more important than ever to follow the three simple steps below to help protect your family. Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for more safety information, including real-time weather alerts and disaster shelter locations, by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or by visiting redcross.org/apps.

  • Build an emergency kit with bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlight and battery operated radio. Also include medications, copies of important documents, cell phone chargers and emergency contact details.
  • Make an evacuation plan what to do if you are separated from your family in an emergency and need to evacuate. Be sure to coordinate with your child’s school, your job, and your community’s emergency plans — and don’t forget your pets.
  • Know how to stay informed by finding out how local authorities will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.

RED CROSS NEEDS VOLUNTEERS TO RESPOND TO FOREST FIRES When disaster forces people from their homes, the Red Cross is there to help provide safe shelter, food and comfort.

“Volunteers are at the heart of our mission, making up 90% of our workforce and responding almost constantly to disasters across the country,” said Rebecca Marshall, Disaster Services Manager, Cascades Region Red Cross. “As we continue to see more and more climate-related disasters, we need more volunteers to increase our capacity to respond and ensure that families are never faced with these emergencies alone.”

Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to help bring relief and hope to those affected by disasters. Our most sought-after positions include:

  • Shelter care: Help a shelter during a major disaster by welcoming and registering residents, serving meals, setting up cots, distributing blankets and personal hygiene kits, and providing information and other forms assistance to people in need.
  • Health services: Use your professional skills as a licensed healthcare provider to provide practical support, including care and education, to people staying in a shelter during a major disaster. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP, and APRN.
  • Disaster Action Team: Join your local Disaster Action Team to help families affected by house fires and other disasters by providing support such as food, shelter, comfort and recovery assistance.

Lance B. Holton