The Red Cross does not just spring into action on the eve of major hurricanes or tsunamis. They are out in local communities daily responding to neighborhood disasters: chief among them - home fires.
Home fires are serious in their frequency, and costly to the lives they affect. Consider the following Red Cross statistics:
- Home fires cause more deaths than all other disasters combined
- Every 40 minutes, an injury from a fire is reported, seven of those cases leading to death every day
- Survivors face a multitude of hurdles in the wake of a home fire, including: finding housing, replacing destroyed possessions, purchasing food and clothing, and navigating insurance
Locally, the Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington responds to an average of two home fires every day. That translates to a daily average of two families in our communities, who, in the best of outcomes, must deal with the hardships of rebuilding normalcy after a damaged or lost home.
As much as 60% of these cases occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Aiming to reduce this grim statistic, the Red Cross in the Cascades Region has partnered with the Office of the State Fire Marshal on a campaign to install free smoke alarms and offer home fire preparedness information in 11 regional communities. Organizers need your help as a volunteer to make this a success.
Working in teams, volunteers canvass designated neighborhoods to install smoke alarms, educate families about fire prevention and map fire escape routes. Training is provided at each event, so all that is required is a commitment of time and a willingness to help. Whether with your co-workers, a civic group, your church, or on your own, sign up for an event in one of the communities listed below:
- Newport – April 11
- Vancouver, WA – April 18
- Portland - April 25
- Bend – May 2
- Lebanon – May 9
- Tillamook - May 16
- Roseburg – June 13
- Medford – September 12
- Pendleton – October 10
- Eugene - October 17
- Gresham – November 7
Visit the Red Cross event page for detailed registration instructions. Volunteers are needed for each of these community events.