This has been a very busy wildfire season in Colorado, and the American Red Cross has helped thousands of people forced from their homes by wildfires across the state.
· As of July 17, the Red Cross has deployed more than 600 trained disaster workers to the wildfire responses in Colorado, and 93 percent are volunteers. They have:
o Opened 19 shelters and provided nearly 2,000 overnight stays
o Served more than 66,000 meals and snacks
o Handed out more than 23,000 relief items such as hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, sifters, rakes, work gloves and face masks
o Provided more than 9,000 health and mental health contacts
o Deployed 26 emergency response vehicles to provide food, snacks, relief supplies and recovery information
o Conducted outreach visits to thousands of families and provided additional forms of support to more than 100 families
The Red Cross is deeply grateful to the people, businesses and organizations that have so generously supported our disaster relief efforts both in Colorado and throughout the country in response to wildfires and other recent disasters.
· As of July 17, the Red Cross estimates that it has raised about $2.8 million in donations and pledges specifically designated for the wildfires throughout Colorado.
o Donations designated for a specific disaster are the first dollars used for that disaster.
o On rare occasions, if the remaining funds are not needed they will be used to prepare for and serve people affected by other disasters.
The Red Cross currently estimates that, as of July 17, it will spend as much as $4.2 million responding to the wildfires in Colorado.
· Wildfires can be very volatile, so the cost and size of our response could change.
· The Red Cross has also spent millions of dollars helping thousands of people in other states affected by wildfires, floods and severe weather over the past two months.
The Red Cross needs public support to help people affected by summer disasters like wildfires. People can help by making a donation today to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
· Our work isn’t done yet, since extreme draught conditions mean it could be a long wildfire season, and we’ve already had an early start to the Atlantic hurricane season.
· It’s also important to know that every year the Red Cross spends an average of more than $360 million preparing and responding to disasters across the country and around the world. This includes the cost of maintaining the strong network of staff and volunteers, supplies, warehouses, response vehicles and technical resources needed to respond to nearly 70,000 disasters each year.