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Wildfire Update June 17                                                                            Contact

Wildfire Update June 17                                                                            Contact

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Published by RedCrossMHC
Red Cross offeres guidance for residents returning home
Red Cross offeres guidance for residents returning home

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Published by: RedCrossMHC on Jun 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Contact:Bill Fortune
(719) 251-7793|bill.fortune@redcross.org
Patricia Demchak Billinger, Regional Communications Director 
(303) 880-4012|patricia.billinger@redcross.org
1 p.m., Monday, June 17 
Wildfire Update: Red Cross Offers Guidance for ResidentsReturning Home
• Returning evacuees encouraged to take care of emotional health
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., June 17, 2013, 12 p.m. – The American Red Cross isoffering guidance, clean-up supplies and emotional support for evacuees of the BlackForest Fire as they return to their neighborhoods.Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to operate a shelter for residents who remainevacuated due to the wildfire. Last night, 27 evacuated individuals stayed overnight atthe Red Cross shelter at Palmer Ridge High School.
Red Cross mental health specialists, caseworkers and other volunteers will staff threefixed-location stations:
Multi-agency Disaster Assistance Center, El Paso County Public Health,1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd. , Colorado Springs, 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. -- Residentscan access safety guidance about returning to their homes, recovery informationand resources, comfort kits, grief counseling, and more.
Baptist Rd. and Hwy 83, noon-6 p.m.
Woodmen Rd. and Black Forest Rd., noon-6 p.m.
“Your own and your family’s emotional care and recovery are just as important asrebuilding a home and healing physical injuries,” said Marlene Husson, a Red Crossdisaster mental health volunteer. “Disasters can stir up many different feelings and
thoughts. Be sure to check in with family members, especially children, after experiencing a disaster.”
There are some basic steps you can take to meet physical and emotional needs:
Try to return to as many of your personal and family routines as possible
Get rest and drink plenty of water 
Recognize your own feelings
Reach out and accept help from others
Realize that recovery can take time
The Red Cross also recommends some of these safety tips for residents returning toburn areas:
Do not enter your home until fire officials say it is safe
Ensure your food and water are safe; discard any food that has beenexposed to heat, smoke or soot, or that that has been in a refrigerator that haslost power 
 Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires
Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety
Wear leather gloves and heavy-soled shoes to protect hands and feet
Red Cross volunteers from around the country have landed in Colorado to assist withlogistical support, and distribution of meals and relief supplies, as well as disaster healthand mental health services – all in an effort to assist residents as they return to their neighborhoods and start the initial steps of recovering from this disaster.
Due to the large loss of property – following on the heels of last year’s Waldo CanyonFire – health and mental health support is a priority; the Red Cross has received morethan 1,000 volunteer applications since the Black Forest Fire began, and will be holdingseveral trainings this week to on-board new, licensed health and mental health workerswho have applied to volunteer with the Red Cross.
Other recovery resources are available online:
Taking Care of Your Emotional Health After a Disaster http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240142_EmotionalHealth.pdf 
Red Cross Guide toRecoveryhttp://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m7540319_picking-up-the-pieces-A5076.pdf 
Helping Children Cope WithDisaster:http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m14740413_Helping_children_cope_with_disaster_-_English.pdf 
To date, the Red Cross and partner agencies have provided the following services::
Opened and operated a total of eight separate shelters and evacuationcenters in Monument, Colorado Springs, Kiowa, Cañon City, Walsenburg andRifle
Distributed 858 comfort kits containing hygiene items, toothbrushes andother basic essentials
Registered 399 individuals in Safe and Well
Served 4,084 meals and snacks (provided primarily by The Salvation Army)
Made 252 health and mental health contacts with affected residents
Distributed 163 Jumpstart To Recovery Kits
If you would like to support Red Cross Disaster Relief gotoredcross.org/Colorado, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to makea $10 donation via your cell phone bill.
Note: Donations made via text-to-give will be allocated to support Red Cross 2013Colorado Wildfires Response
The Red Cross is unable to accept small, individual donations or collections of items such as clothing, food or cleaning supplies. The cost to sort,package and distribute these types of donations to disaster victims is almost always

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