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Red Cross mobilizes for wildfires
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With the wildfires still escalating, Red Cross supplies and volunteers are en route to Southern California by the thousands. More than 500 American Red Cross workers have been hard at work since Sunday morning and the Red Cross is expanding its services rapidly as the needs change and escalate. Here's what the Red Cross has on the way:

• 25,000 cots

• 50,000 blankets

• 50,000 pre-packaged meals

• 25,000 comfort kits filled with toiletry items

• 75 mobile feeding trucks and 2 Southern Baptist kitchens

• 1,000 shelter workers

• 1,000 workers to help with feeding, distribution of supplies, mental health and first aid support

More than 3,000 people from Southern California spent Wednesday night at 11 Red Cross shelters in safe areas outside of their threatened neighborhoods. There, they found Red Cross workers providing a safe place to sleep, a hot meal and access to information.

Red Cross mental health counselors are also on site to help clients manage the stress and fear that accompanies all disasters. The Red Cross continues to distribute water and food to firefighters and emergency workers in the affected areas as they work to battle the blazes and safeguard residents.

The Savannah Chapter is supporting these efforts by deploying three disaster volunteers to Southern California. Karen Avret, who is the Red Cross branch manager in Claxton, was requested to deploy by Red Cross National Headquarters, and has already left for California.  Avret is one of only 15 “Mass Care Administrators” in the country and is often requested to deploy during large scale disasters. Disaster volunteers, John Summerville will be working in mass care feeding and Bernie Martin, will be doing damage assessment.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster.

The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish).

Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to American Red Cross, Savannah Chapter at P. O. Box 9987, Savannah, GA 31401 or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting