by Kirk Woundy
A week after opening it, the American Red Cross has announced closure of its shelter for Black Forest Fire victims and evacuees. Here's the release, which at the bottom also includes a look at some of what the nonprofit organization has accomplished during the early start to this fire season.
Wildfire Update: Red Cross to Close Black Forest Shelter at Noon; Continues to Serve Residents at 4 Fixed Sites
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., June 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m. — The American Red Cross will close its shelter at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument at noon today. Red Cross caseworkers, health workers and mental health experts will continue to provide people affected by the Black Forest fire with resources, emotional comfort, health services and recovery assistance at four fixed locations.
Last night, 5 evacuated individuals stayed overnight at the Red Cross shelters. All of those individuals have found other accommodations for tonight or are being assisted with accommodations by the Red Cross.
FIXED SERVICE DELIVERY SITES
Red Cross volunteers will distribute cleanup kits, water and snacks and offer informational resources, basic health services and emotional counseling at the following fixed locations:
· School in the Woods, 12002 Vollmer Rd., Colorado Springs, noon-5 p.m.
· Intersection of Black Forest Road and Burgess Road, noon-5 p.m.
· Intersection of Milam Road and Shoup Road, noon-5 p.m.
· Multi-agency Disaster Assistance Center, El Paso County Public Health, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd., 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.
Residents will be able to pick up cleanup supplies including items such as sifters, shovels, trash bags, work gloves, rakes, paper towels, and facemasks at all sites except the Disaster Assistance Center.
The Salvation Army will be providing snacks and meals at the School of the Woods and Milam Road locations.
PREPAREDNESS DURING RED FLAG CONDITIONS
Large portions of Colorado are under red flag warnings for high fire conditions. The Red Cross urges residents to take steps to be prepared; one thing people can do is download the free Red Cross Wildfire App, available in English or Spanish. The app puts help right in people’s hands, such as instant access to steps people should take before, during and after wildfires. Owners of Apple and Android devices can download the free app in the in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
If a fire is threatening your neighborhood, you should listen to local media for updated fire
information and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Other steps include:
• Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
• Confine your pets to one room so you can find them if you need to leave quickly.
• Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors.
• Use the recycle or recirculate mode on your air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere.
More information on wildfire safety is available on the preparedness section of www.redcross.org.
Local Red Cross chapters have activated on-call rapid-response teams throughout the state so that the Red Cross can mobilize quickly to respond to any additional wildfires that may occur this summer.
RED CROSS SERVICES TO DATE: To date, the Red Cross and partner agencies have provided the following services:
· Opened and operated a total of eight separate shelters and evacuation centers in Monument, Colorado Springs, Kiowa, Cañon City, Walsenburg and Rifle, providing a total of 911 overnight stays.
· Distributed 1015 comfort kits containing hygiene items, toothbrushes and other basic essentials
· Registered 431 individuals in Safe and Well
· Served 9,652 meals and snacks (provided primarily by The Salvation Army)
· Made 365 health and mental health contacts with affected residents
· Made 517 health and mental health contacts with affected residents