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Four Big Island Red Cross Volunteers Deploy to Oroville Dam

February 15, 2017, 10:46 AM HST
* Updated February 15, 10:48 AM
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American Red Cross

A total of six Hawai‘i Red Cross volunteers are deploying to California’s Oroville Dam spillway area.

Three Big Island volunteers and two O‘ahu volunteers are deploying to assist with sheltering and one Big Island volunteer is deploying to assist in Security Services.

The American Red Cross continues to feed and shelter people in the area, where authorities have lifted the mandatory evacuation order for almost 200,000 people near the Oroville Dam spillway.

While the risk has been reduced, the region is expected to see several inches of rain in the next few days. Red Cross workers will remain in place in the event that anyone has to evacuate their homes again.

Local officials have also stated yesterday that the area remains under an evacuation warning—and that residents need to be ready to leave their homes again if the situation changes.

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As of Tuesday night, Feb. 14, more than 1,500 people remained in 16 Red Cross and community shelters. While many people returned home, some decided to stay in the shelters for now.

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“The Red Cross urges people in this region to get prepared now and remain prepared,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the Red Cross. “As local authorities have said, there’s the prospect of another evacuation order if circumstances change—so we encourage everyone to pack an emergency kit and have an evacuation plan ready. We are keeping many of our workers there on the ground and many disaster resources in place so that we’re ready to help thousands of people if the need arises.”

WHAT TO PUT IN AN EMERGENCY KIT

With the situation still uncertain for many who live in the area surrounding the Oroville Dam, the Red Cross urges everyone to follow any evacuation orders and Be Red Cross Ready – build a kit, make a plan and be informed. Pack your kit in an easy-to-handle container and include the following:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio to stay informed and cell phone with charger
  • First aid kit
  • Medications – a seven-day supply – and any medical items needed
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items like a toothbrush, soap and shampoo
  • Copies of important papers such as deed/lease to your home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, proof of address, medication list
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • A map of the area
  • A map of the area
  • Extra clothing
  • Pillows and blankets
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More items to consider include medical supplies such as hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses, baby supplies, pet supplies and an extra set of car and house keys.

Full information about what to include is available on redcross.org

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP: People can also download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including open shelter locations, emergency weather alerts and flood safety information. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

FIND A SHELTER If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit redcross.org or contact their local Red Cross Chapter. If someone is staying with friends or family, they can visit Red Cross shelters during the day for information or a hot meal.

MAKE A DONATION We are thankful to those who would like to donate items for people evacuated in California – but the Red Cross is not equipped to manage, support, and distribute donated items of food, clothing, or household goods. Instead, our priority is to get those affected settled at emergency shelters, and to provide supplies to meet immediate needs. Right now, the best way to help those affected is through a financial donation.

The Red Cross depends on donations to prepare for and provide immediate relief from disasters. Help people affected by California floods by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word CAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

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