SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sunday, August 25, 2013 – Saturday night saw the first decrease in population at the Red Cross Mother Lode Fairgrounds shelter since the Rim Fire began a week ago. With many residents of the Pine Mountain Lake community being allowed to return to their homes, the Red Cross shelter had a total of 135 residents stay the night – down from 184 the night before.
However, as firefighters continue the battle for containment on the Rim Fire in Tuolumne County, there is still a danger and many communities remain under evacuation advisories. The Red Cross remains ready to receive residents should they choose to leave their homes. The Fairgrounds shelter – located at 220 Southgate Drive in Sonora – has the capacity for as many as 1,000 evacuees, and the Red Cross is prepared to open additional shelters should the need arise.
Since the shelter opened on Monday, many members of the community have come forward to graciously offer assistance in the form of volunteering or offering donated items. Should you feel compelled to assist the Red Cross response, you are are encouraged to please contact the Red Cross office in Sonora at (209) 533-1513.
Need more info on how to be ready for wildfire? The Red Cross website, www.RedCross.org offers a number of important tips and resources residents should do to monitor the situation and prepare should they be asked to evacuate:
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
- Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
- Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
- Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.
- 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 in your home or car. If you do not have air conditioning and it is 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 your home.
- If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider’s advice and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.
In the event you have to evacuate the area, items to consider bringing with you should include:
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Other essential items that could not be replaced if they were destroyed
More information can also be found on the free Red Cross Wildfire App. Get the latest fire news from local, state and federal agencies, find shelter information, as well as access preloaded information about what to do before, during and after a wildfire.