American Red Cross Seeks Volunteers to Assist Residents Impacted by Wildfires

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people walking through fire damaged ruins
Photo credit American Red Cross North Texas

The Red Cross is seeking additional help during a severe wildfire season

FORT WORTH, TEXAS, AUGUST 15, 2022 — Devastating wildfires continue to pop up and burn throughout North Texas, threatening communities, destroying property and upending lives. Due to the ongoing threat from wildfires, the American Red Cross North Texas Region is asking for individuals to become Red Cross volunteers and take part in future relief efforts.

“Our volunteer workforce is critical in carrying out the mission of the American Red Cross,” said Katrina Farmer, Red Cross North Texas Disaster Officer. “Volunteers respond to house fires, tornadoes, floods and more, offering the immediate assistance that our neighbors need. Please join our more than 1,600 North Texas volunteers and support your community.”

Since March 1, the Red Cross has responded to more than 160 wildfires in greater North Texas. Red Crossers provided immediate and long-term aid, staff shelters and evacuation points and set up canteen services for firefighters. Disaster Action Team, Disaster Recovery Casework, Mass Care Team and Shelter Services volunteers are on the frontlines of recovery response, and they are especially needed now. Visit redcross.org/volunteer and sign up today.

Disaster Action Team volunteers meet the disaster-caused needs of individuals and households, such as lodging and clothing, and connecting them with long term recovery services. Disaster Recovery Caseworkers provide follow-up and recovery planning services, including referrals, for individuals and households following disasters.

“The way the Disaster Action Team works is we wait for a call or a text letting us know we are needed” said Carla Signoret, Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer. “When a fire happens, we get the address and relevant details about the event. We try to reach the client within the first couple of hours. Our job is to be there, offer support and get their information so that those affected can get assistance.”

Mass Care Team members meet the emergency needs of individuals and communities affected by large scale disasters. Shelter volunteers support the day-to-day activities within a shelter, which may include working in reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information or other vital areas.

The Red Cross is able to fulfill its humanitarian mission thanks dedicated volunteers and community support. Volunteers make up 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce and are essential to disaster response efforts. The Red Cross has volunteer opportunities for everyone. Find out more about making a real difference in people’s lives by visiting redcross.org/northtexas.

Prevent Wildfires

As hot, dry conditions continue throughout the region, there is an elevated risk for wildfires. It is important for everyone to remain vigilant and reduce activities that could spark a wildfire. People cause 85 percent of wildfires by burning debris, using equipment improperly, discarding cigarettes carelessly, leaving campfires unattended and by arson.

  • Don’t drive your vehicle onto dry grass or brush. Hot components under your vehicle can spark fires.
  • Use equipment responsibly. Lawn mowers, chain saws, tractors, and trimmers can all spark a wildfire.
  • Use caution any time you use fire. Dispose of charcoal briquettes and fireplace ashes properly, never leave any outdoor fire unattended, and make sure that outdoor fires are fully extinguished before leaving the area.
  • If residential debris burning is allowed – use caution! After obtaining any necessary permits, ensure that burning is not currently restricted in your area.
  • Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers away from the house.
  • Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 feet away from any structure. Do not use the grill during potentially dangerous fire weather conditions. Always have a fire extinguisher or hose nearby.

Be Prepared

It is important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Use the Red Cross Wildfire Preparedness Checklist to make sure you and your household are Red Cross Ready. Make an emergency preparedness kit, have a plan to stay connected with family and friends, download the Red Cross Emergency App and First Aid App and practice an evacuation plan.

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/northtexas or cruzrojaamericana.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNTX.

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