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Monday, October 24, 2016

Helping the Homeless Veteran

By Bill Fortune

Every year the Red Cross participates in the Homeless Veterans Stand Down at a variety of locations across Colorado and Wyoming. At those events, the Red Cross has provided a variety of items and resources to help our homeless veterans.
Red Cross volunteer Allison Smith has a big smile as she helps
veteran Robert Esquibel  check out his comfort kit bag at the
 Stand Down for Colorado Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs
 on 10/18/16. (Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross)

Homeless Veteran Stand Down events are held each year in Colorado and Wyoming and each year the number of participating agencies and organizations providing services and resources has grown.

L to R- United States Air Force Msgt Robert M. Henneman
watches as veteran Dennis Howk accepts a Red Cross
comfort kit bag from volunteer Thea Wasche at the Stand
 Down for Colorado Homeless Veterans in Colorado Springs
on 10/18/16. Sgt Henneman was Mr. Howk's "Battle Buddy"
at the event. (Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross)
Recently, the Red Cross provided services and resources at the Colorado Springs Stand Down where volunteers met with veterans to provide personal hygiene items and clothing. The supplies were provided through the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program that has supported service members, their families and veterans for more than 100 years. More than 100 homeless veterans were supported at the event in Colorado Springs with 86 additional people, not considered homeless, who came in to meet with the various agencies. According to John Crousoe from the El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition the number of homeless veterans attending the stand down in Colorado springs decreased this year over last year. "That's a good sign," Crousoe said. "It means we are making a difference.

Homeless Veterans Stand Downs were held in Pueblo, Durango as well as Colorado Springs this year with three more events coming up in Cheyenne (10/27), Grand Junction (10/28) and Fort Collins (11/4).

If you would like to learn more about the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces program visit redcross.org/SAF.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Teaming up with Air Force Academy Cadets to Save Lives


Cadets get organized for Smoke Alarm Installation Day.
Photo by Joan Green/American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado teamed up with cadets from the Air Force Academy to help save lives. Over three hundred cadets gathered in the Field House parking lot at the Air Force Academy early Friday morning, October 14, 2016. They joined with volunteers from the American Red Cross as part of the Academy's Day of Service.

"Seeing over 300 cadets all at one time is a little overwhelming," said Laura Kozuzsek, Prepare CO: American Red Cross Program Development Specialist/AmeriCorps VISTA. "Knowing they were ready to help us with our Home Fire Campaign was amazing."
Academy Cadet Mark Brown installs a home
smoke detector at the residence of Thelma Strom.
Photo by Joe Coleman/American Red Cross

Putting together an event of that magnitude was no small task. Especially considering that Kozuszek has been with the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado for only about 3 months. She, along with the support of Sally Broomfield, Disaster Program Manager, organized the event from top to bottom.

Once the cadets were organized into teams, indoctrinated with the plan and given the tools to get the work done they were loaded into vehicles and headed out. By 10 A.M. everyone was in place and the work began across much of the Colorado Springs area. Each team of cadets and Red Crossers went door-to-door installing alarms, checking alarms and providing fire safety information. By the end of the day nearly 350 smoke alarms had been installed.

"I feel good about what we accomplished today," Kozuszek said. "The cadets went right to work and did a great job."


Big shout outs go to the following organizations for their support for our home fire campaign:

Academy Cadets Chiu (left) and Ermitano provide
homeowner Blanca Gomalez with Red Cross
 home fire safety and emergency preparedness
materials following the installation of a new
smoke detector in her home. Photo by R.W.Firth/
American Red Cross
Habitat for Humanity
Cimarron Hills Fire Department
Fountain Fire Department
School District 11
School District 49
Olympic training Center
Biaggi's
U.S.A.F. Academy
American Red Cross of Northern Colorado
American Red Cross of Mile High Area
American Red Cross of Western Colorado

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign seeks to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the five year perid that began in the fall of 2014. Since its inception more than 300,000 smoke alarms have been installed across the country with nearly 8000 in the Colorado and Wyoming region.

If you would like to help with the Home Fire Campaign you can donate to the Red Cross, partner with the Red Cross as an organization  or volunteer to help install alarms as an individual. Visit redcross.org/colorado/firesafety.

To see more photos from the October 14 Smoke Alarm Installation Day visit out Flickr album:
Home Fire Campaign_Oct 14, 2016.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Junkins Fire Response

The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming continues to respond to the immediate needs of those people affected by the Junkins Fire burning in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe, CO.

Red Cross volunteers ready to help at the Wetmore Fire
Station Disaster Assistance Center. Photo by Bill Fortune
American Red Cross
Updated Monday, October 24, 2016 NOTE:This will be the last update for the Junkins Fire Response.

For fire information go to:
Facebook: :www.facebook.com/JunkinsFire/
InciWeb post: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5071/#
Call the Information Line: 719-283-1710

As containment grows on the Junkins Fire near Westcliff people have began returning to their homes. The Red Cross closed the shelter preciously located at the First Southern Baptist Church in Florence.

Disaster assistance centers were opened in Pueblo at the State Fairgrounds and at the Wetmore Fire Station to provide resources and referrals to those who had evacuated nearly a week ago and were heading back to their homes.

Red Cross volunteers were at both centers providing clean up supplies, shovels and individual assistance.

Evacuees check the fire information at the Wetmore Fire
Station. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
Disaster Assistance Centers remain open in Pueblo, at the Colorado State Fairgrounds and in Westcliffe at the Custer County Share facility. Cleanup supplies and other useful items have been moved to those locations and are available there for pickup.  The Adventist Disaster Service will maintain a distribution and collection center for donated items. Anyone affected by the Junkins Fire is welcome to those centers for additional support.

Anyone needing additional assistance from the Red Cross is asked to call our 24-hour response number at 800-417-0495.

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Red Cross cleanup supplies available at both Disaster
Assistance Centers. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Crosss

Updated: Noon, Friday, October 21, 2016

Many of the evacuees from the Junkins Fire are being allowed to return and today marks the beginning of the recovery phase. Organizations, nonprofits as well as state and local governments are working together to provide support and resources for those people affected by the Junkins Fire in Pueblo and Custer Counties.

The evacuee shelter remains open in Florence at the First Southern Baptist Church of Florence, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO. Seven people slept at the shelter overnight Thursday with several more registering for meals and information.
Red Cross Disaster Assessment
team at the Junkins Fire. Photo
American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers are positioned at the Emergency Operations Center in Westcliffe to help coordinate shelter and feeding requirements. They are also at the Florence shelter to provide comfort and support. A team of volunteers were out in the fire area to assessing damage to homes.

Disaster Assistance Centers have been opened in both Custer and Pueblo Counties:
Custer County Disaster Assistance Center - Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station, 200 County Rd 290, Wetmore, CO. Hours of operation: Friday 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and Saturday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Services Available: Reentry passes, clean up supplies, water and other recovery information
Pueblo County Disaster Assistance Center - Colorado Building, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO. Hour of operation - Friday 10 A.M. to 7 P.M., Saturday 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Services available - Clean up supplies, fire information, recovery information, food, water and used clothing.

Delbert Hayden (R) and Chris Hayden from Adventist Disaster
Services stand in front of the vast amount of supplies available
to people affected by the Junkins Fire. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross
The Adventist Disaster Services have taken on the collection, warehousing and distribution of items for those impacted by the Junkin Fire. Anyone wishing to donate can bring any item (clothing, small furniture, non-perishable food items, blankets, etc.) to the Disaster Assistance Center in Pueblo. Anyone affected by the Junkins Fire who is in need can pick up a variety of items. Pueblo County Department of Social Services is also on hand in Pueblo to provide food and financial assistance to those affected by the fire.



Links for additional information:
Custer County: http://www.custercountygov.com/
Pueblo County: http://www.puebloemergency.info
Fremont County: http://www.fremontco.com/

Complete closure and evacuation information is on
Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5071

The latest press release from Custer County is available at http://custercountygov.com

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Update:Thursday, October 20, 2016, 4:00 P.M.
As our support continues for the evacuees from the Junkins Fire, the Red Cross has one shelter open to provide a warm, safe place for people to stay. That shelter is located at 303 E. Third Street in Florence, CO.
Red Cross volunteers Lee Lampbert (l) and Ed Flannery work
in the kitchen at the Florence shelter. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross

Some people are being allowed to return home as containment on the fire continues to grow. For the latest list of those areas where mandatory evacuation has been lifted please see the latest press release from Custer County at http://custercountygov.com/pdf/JunkinsFire_PressRelease1.pdf.

A Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) has been opened at the Wetmore Fire Department. Re-Entry passes must be obtained at the Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station located at 200 County Road 290, Wetmore, CO 81253. Passes are available from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M, today and again on Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Residents may also pick up re-entry supplies at the DAC.

A Disaster Assistance Center is open in Pueblo at the Colorado Building at the Colorado State Fir Grounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO. Re-entry supplies are available at this center. Donations to help those recovering from the fire can be dropped off a that location. Hours on Friday are 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Anyone returning to their home after the fire will experience a significant clean up and risks from ash and smoke. People are urged to use caution when returning home. Red Cross Cleanup supplies are available at the Pueblo Disaster Assistance Center and at the Wetmore Disaster Assistance Center.

Update: Thursday, October 20, 2016, 9:00 A.M.


Shelter sign for the Red Cross as the the sun sets through
smoke from the Junkins Fire. Photo by American Red Cross
The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming continues to respond to the immediate needs of those people affected by the Junkins Fire burning in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe, CO.

The shelter that was located in the Agricultural Building at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo was officially closed effective at 9:00 A.M. today. The shelter at the Florence Christian Church in Florence remains open. Seven people stayed at the shelter overnight.

Active Red Cross shelters open to support evacuees for the Junkins Fire:

Florence - Florence Christian Church, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO

How Can I Help?
Nonperishable food items can be taken to the Custer County Share Center in Westcliffe at 312 S. Third St.

Monetary donations are being collected on behalf of the victims of the Junkins Fire at the First State Bank in Westcliffe. This fund was opened by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Custer County Volunteer Fire Department.

Volunteer Walt Palmer (in vest) speaks to local media about
Red Cross support for evacuees. Photo by Americna
Red Cross
Other donations: Items such as clothing, towels, etc., are currently not being collected. Please hold items of that type until the recovery phase begins for those people affected by the Junkins Fire. Once residents are allowed into the fire area it is likely that Disaster Assistance Centers will be opened to support the recovery. At that time it will be announced what donations will be accepted.


If you would like to be a Red Cross volunteer so that we have the resources we need to take care of local disasters and emergencies please visit www.redcross.org/colorado/volunteer




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Update: Wednesday, October 19, 11:00 A.M.

Incident Command Center for the Junkins Fire in Westcliffe,
CO. Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
Shelters were opened Monday as the initial set of evacuation orders were given.

Pueblo - Colorado State Fairgrounds (Agriculture Center) - 1001 Beulah St, Pueblo, CO
Florence - Florence Christian Church, 303 E. Third St., Florence, CO

As of Wednesday, October 19, 3 people stayed at the shelter in Pueblo with 10 people staying at the shelter in Florence.

Evacuees have cots ready at Colorado State Fairgrounds
shelter in Pueblo. Photo by American Red Cross
The shelter in Pueblo has been placed in standby mode and the family staying there has been moved to the shelter in Florence. The Pueblo shelter will close at 9:00 A.M, Thursday, October 20, 2016. The Florence shelter will remain open as long as needed.

How Can I Help?
Nonperishable food items can be taken to the Custer County Care and Share in Westcliffe at 312 S. Third St.

Monetary donations are being collected on behalf of the victims of the Junkins Fire at the First State Bank in Westcliffe. This fund was opened by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Custer County Volunteer Fire Department.

video

Monday, October 10, 2016

Red Cross Disaster Academy in San Luis Valley

Training material for the SLV disaster academy
Photo by  Ayesha Williams/Red Cross
By Bill Fortune

The American Red Cross of Western Colorado hosted a disaster training academy in Alamosa, CO from Friday, Oct 7 through Sunday, Oct 9. More than 20 volunteers were trained in a variety of topics ranging from managing a disaster response to CPR and AED certification. Bill Werner, the disaster program manager, coordinated the training academy.  "Our goal is to bolster the Red Cross volunteer team in the San Luis Valley so that we can respond when people need us," He said in between training classes. "We need all kinds of people to help us provide the services that people expect from the Red Cross."

Students learn more about sheltering at the SLV
disaster academy. Photo by Vilate Thacker/
Red Cross

The volunteers in the San Luis valley respond regularly to home fires where they provide direct assistance to the people affected. That assistance might be in the form of replacing personal hygiene items, medications, help with temporary lodging or helping them deal emotionally with a loss. The volunteers are also trained to open shelters if needed, provide support to wildland fire activities and provide preparedness education.

Recently, volunteers hosted a class for students in grades 3-5 called The Pillowcase Project. Students learned how to protect themselves and respond to various emergencies. Another important campaign in the Valley is the Home Fire Campaign. Volunteers partner with fire departments and organizations to install free smoke alarms in homes in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires.

If you would like to be part of the Red Cross as a volunteer, anywhere is Colorado, go on line to redcross.org/colorado and click on Volunteer.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Colorado and Wyoming Volunteers Deploy to Aid Hurricane Evacuation


Colorado and Wyoming Volunteers Continue to Support Hurricane Matthew Relief


Update:Oct, 13, 2016
As of Thursday morning, October 13, the Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross has sent more than 30 volunteers to support the relief efforts for Hurricane Matthew. In addition, three emergency response vehicles (ERV) were sent. Most of the Colorado and Wyoming volunteers are in North Carolina helping with the ongoing flood problems in that state.

Sarah and Edgar Jacobs were rescued from the home and
went to the Red Cross shelter. Photo by American Red Cross
Here are the overnight shelter numbers for the Hurricane Matthew response. While the numbers are slowly declining the need for help continues.

Across four states, more than 3,200 people stayed in 61 Red Cross and community shelters Wednesday night:

·         In North Carolina, 39 shelters with more than 2,600 people
·         In South Carolina, 14 shelters with 437 people
·         In Georgia, 4 shelters with 123 people

·         In Florida, 4 shelters with 40 people 



Gerald Hargrove left his home with only the clothes
 on his back, and was upset by the “mess that my home is”
 when he evacuated to come to the shelter. Photo
American Red Cross
Since the disaster response began, the Red Cross has mobilized 3,000 disaster workers, 155 emergency response vehicles—nearly half of our fleet—and more than 100 trailers filled with water, ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. More volunteers, vehicles and supplies are being mobilized now to supplement relief efforts.

The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate response efforts to ensure people receive the help they need as quickly as possible.

In Haiti more than 200 American Red Cross staff—about 80 percent of whom are Haitian nationals—are helping to distribute immediate relief supplies to the more than 61,000 displaced residents. To address the increasing threat of cholera, the American Red Cross will target cholera-prevention kits to medical facilities.

Sally Bumgardner came to the Red Cross shelter because
she wanted to help. She stayed at the shelter and helped
the Red Cross help her community. Photo American Red Cross
Given the extent of the damage and the continued difficultly in reaching several of the affected areas, the American Red Cross is also playing a key coordination role with local authorities and international humanitarian organizations to ensure life-saving support and supplies reach all those in need as soon as possible. Generators and telecommunications equipment to augment our support capabilities arrived in Haiti on October 8; additional relief supplies, such as water purification products, shelter kits, and mosquito nets are being procured locally and internationally.

More information about the Hurricane Matthew relief effort is on our website at redcross.orgLearn more about the Red Cross response to Hurricane Matthew here.

The American Red Cross needs your support to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew. MAKE A DONATION The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
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More Colorado and Wyoming Assets Deploying for Hurricane Matthew Relief
Emergency Response Vehicles Rolling out on Monday

Denver, Sunday, October 09, 2016 - As Hurricane Matthew continued its path of destruction up the southeast coast, the American Red Cross expanded its massive sheltering effort to span five states. More than 13,400 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters.

Across five states, more than 13,400 people woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters:
·        In North Carolina, 80 evacuation shelters with over 4,000 people
·         In South Carolina, 61 evacuation shelters with over 4,500 people
·         In Georgia, 34 evacuation shelters with 4,500 people
·         In Florida, 72 evacuation shelters with more than  340 people
·         In Virginia, one evacuation shelter with 25 people

Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross Disaster Responders Step Up to Help
To support the response and recovery effort the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will be sending people and equipment to the affected region.
An ERV supports disaster relief with
meals and supplies. Photo by
Arnett Luce/American Red Cross

Three Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) will depart Monday, October 10, at 9:30 A.M. from the Mile High Area office, 444 Sherman St., Denver, along with six crew members. The vehicles and teams will travel to Durbin, GA to support the delivery of food and supplies to those neighborhoods hardest hit by the hurricane.

By the end of the day Monday, the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will have activated 22 people to support the relief effort. Many f those will serve to help people in the shelters. Others will be doing support work such as food and supply delivery, resource management, asset protection, logistics, emotional support and health services, client casework and community partnership coordination. One of those volunteers activated will be serving virtually from Denver to support social media activities.




Where are they going?
North Carolina – 1
South Carolina – 2
Georgia – 6 plus three ERVs

Florida – 13

Shelter YouTube videos are available at:


Latest Red Cross News Release is at:

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Workers will bring help to those avoiding disaster as Hurricane Matthew hits Southeast U.S.

Denver, Thursday, October 6, 2016 The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending disaster volunteers to Florida to aide in the evacuation efforts in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.
A Red Cross volunteer comforts a child (stock photo/
American Red Cross

Christina Eyre deployed to Florida Tuesday, Oct. 4, to work as shelter support with more specific duties to be assigned upon arrival. Eyre is from Denver and is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado. 

Hannah Price is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado out of Littleton, CO. Price deployed on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to Orlando, Florida to assist with shelters.

Sylvia Raumaker deployed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to provide support for shelters with more duties to be assigned. Raumaker is a member of the Wyoming Red Cross chapter and resides in Jackson, Wyoming.

Dennis Hoyt is deployed as a government liaison in Florida for Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday, Oct. 4.  Hoyt is a long-time volunteer from Walsenburg, CO who has deployed a number of occasions including the Texas Floods of 2016.  

Rubin Marez will deploy to Georgia to work with the logistics operation of the disaster response. Rubin is from Loveland, CO and has been a long time volunteer with the Northern Colorado Chapter.

Phillip Pallone is from Fort Collins and volunteers with the Northern Colorado Chapter. He will deploy to Florida to serve as a supervisor at one of the shelters.

Catherine Leventhal will deploy virtually remaining in her home to help monitor and communicate via social media. Catherine has been a long time volunteer with the Mile High Chapter.

HOW CAN I HELP?

The best way to help with the response to Hurricane Matthew is to give a financial donation. The Red Cross depends on donation to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Colorado and Wyoming Volunteers Deploy to Aid Hurricane Evacuation

More Colorado and Wyoming Assets Deploying for Hurricane Matthew Relief
Emergency Response Vehicles Rolling out on Monday

Denver, Sunday, October 09, 2016 - As Hurricane Matthew continued its path of destruction up the southeast coast, the American Red Cross expanded its massive sheltering effort to span five states. More than 13,400 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters.

Across five states, more than 13,400 people woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters:
·        In North Carolina, 80 evacuation shelters with over 4,000 people
·         In South Carolina, 61 evacuation shelters with over 4,500 people
·         In Georgia, 34 evacuation shelters with 4,500 people
·         In Florida, 72 evacuation shelters with more than  340 people
·         In Virginia, one evacuation shelter with 25 people

Colorado and Wyoming Red Cross Disaster Responders Step Up to Help
To support the response and recovery effort the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will be sending people and equipment to the affected region.
An ERV supports disaster relief with
meals and supplies. Photo by
Arnett Luce/American Red Cross

Three Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) will depart Monday, October 10, at 9:30 A.M. from the Mile High Area office, 444 Sherman St., Denver, along with six crew members. The vehicles and teams will travel to Durbin, GA to support the delivery of food and supplies to those neighborhoods hardest hit by the hurricane.

By the end of the day Monday, the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming will have activated 22 people to support the relief effort. Many f those will serve to help people in the shelters. Others will be doing support work such as food and supply delivery, resource management, asset protection, logistics, emotional support and health services, client casework and community partnership coordination. One of those volunteers activated will be serving virtually from Denver to support social media activities.




Where are they going?
North Carolina – 1
South Carolina – 2
Georgia – 6 plus three ERVs

Florida – 13

Shelter YouTube videos are available at:


Latest Red Cross News Release is at:

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Workers will bring help to those avoiding disaster as Hurricane Matthew hits Southeast U.S.

Denver, Thursday, October 6, 2016 The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending disaster volunteers to Florida to aide in the evacuation efforts in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.
A Red Cross volunteer comforts a child (stock photo/
American Red Cross

Christina Eyre deployed to Florida Tuesday, Oct. 4, to work as shelter support with more specific duties to be assigned upon arrival. Eyre is from Denver and is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado. 

Hannah Price is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado out of Littleton, CO. Price deployed on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to Orlando, Florida to assist with shelters.

Sylvia Raumaker deployed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to provide support for shelters with more duties to be assigned. Raumaker is a member of the Wyoming Red Cross chapter and resides in Jackson, Wyoming.

Dennis Hoyt is deployed as a government liaison in Florida for Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday, Oct. 4.  Hoyt is a long-time volunteer from Walsenburg, CO who has deployed a number of occasions including the Texas Floods of 2016.  

Rubin Marez will deploy to Georgia to work with the logistics operation of the disaster response. Rubin is from Loveland, CO and has been a long time volunteer with the Northern Colorado Chapter.

Phillip Pallone is from Fort Collins and volunteers with the Northern Colorado Chapter. He will deploy to Florida to serve as a supervisor at one of the shelters.

Catherine Leventhal will deploy virtually remaining in her home to help monitor and communicate via social media. Catherine has been a long time volunteer with the Mile High Chapter.

HOW CAN I HELP?

The best way to help with the response to Hurricane Matthew is to give a financial donation. The Red Cross depends on donation to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Colorado and Wyoming Volunteers Deploy to Aid Hurricane Evacuation


Workers will bring help to those avoiding disaster as Hurricane Matthew hits Southeast U.S.

Denver, Thursday, October 6, 2016 The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending disaster volunteers to Florida to aide in the evacuation efforts in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.
A Red Cross volunteer comforts a child (stock photo/
American Red Cross

Christina Eyre deployed to Florida Tuesday, Oct. 4, to work as shelter support with more specific duties to be assigned upon arrival. Eyre is from Denver and is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado. 

Hannah Price is a volunteer with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross in Colorado out of Littleton, CO. Price deployed on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to Orlando, Florida to assist with shelters.

Sylvia Raumaker deployed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to provide support for shelters with more duties to be assigned. Raumaker is a member of the Wyoming Red Cross chapter and resides in Jackson, Wyoming.

Dennis Hoyt is deployed as a government liaison in Florida for Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday, Oct. 4.  Hoyt is a long-time volunteer from Walsenburg, CO who has deployed a number of occasions including the Texas Floods of 2016.  

Rubin Marez will deploy to Georgia to work with the logistics operation of the disaster response. Rubin is from Loveland, CO and has been a long time volunteer with the Northern Colorado Chapter.

Phillip Pallone is from Fort Collins and volunteers with the Northern Colorado Chapter. He will deploy to Florida to serve as a supervisor at one of the shelters.

Catherine Leventhal will deploy virtually remaining in her home to help monitor and communicate via social media. Catherine has been a long time volunteer with the Mile High Chapter.

HOW CAN I HELP?

The best way to help with the response to Hurricane Matthew is to give a financial donation. The Red Cross depends on donation to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Evacuation for Beulah Hill Fire


Beulah Hill Fire Response Update: Friday, October 7, 2016


Red Cross Closing Shelter for Beulah Hill Fire Evacuees
Shelter in Stand-by Status for Now

Pueblo, CO, Friday, October 7, 2016, 1:00 P.M. MDT – The American Red Cross continues to support reentry and recovery efforts for the people affected by the Beulah Hill Fire. Reentry into the evacuated area has begun and those that were staying at the Red Cross shelter have departed.
CJ Mather helping Red Cross volunteer LaurieAnn Riddock
at Red Cross shelter in Pueblo.


The shelter, located at the Southwest Motors Event Center at the Colorado State Fairgrounds, has been placed on stand-by status. In the event that the shelter is needed it can be reactivated quickly. The shelter will officially close on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

More than 400 meals were served from the shelter with more than 30 people using the facility for support each day. 

As people left the shelter to return to their homes there were hugs and thanks for the Red Cross support. One resident said that she had never been in that situation before but would be much more supportive of the Red Cross sheltering effort in the future. 

There were many groups and organization who donated water, food, towels and other supplies. While we won’t be able thank everyone the Red Cross would like thank the following organizations for their support that helped us help those in need:

Applebees
Old Chicago
Starbucks (southside)
Lowe's (southside)
Sonic
The Salvation Army
Pueblo City County Health Department
Colorado State Fair
Roncalli STEM Academy
Black Hills Energy
Behavioral Health Response Team
Community Animal Rescue Team
Pueblo County Sheriff
All of the Fire Fighters from Pueblo and surrounding communities as well as the Type III and Type II wildfire teams.

Most importantly we would like to thanks all of the event-based volunteers who stepped up to help their neighbors.  

For information about the fire and evacuations please visit www.puebloemergency.info. 

If you would like to be a Red Cross volunteer so that we have the resources we need to take care of local disasters and emergencies please visit www.redcross.org/colorado/volunteer. 


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Beulah Hill Fire Response Update: Thursday, October 6, 2016 4:30 PM

As containment progress continues on the Beulah Hills Fire, Pueblo County Sheriff and the Type II Incident Management Team continue to try and open areas to allow people to return to their homes. Phase three of reentry has opened up additional areas for repopulation, Some areas continue to be restricted. For the latest fire and recovery information visit puebloemergency.info or call 719-583-4640.

The Red Cross has partnered with Pueblo County and other organizations to support a Disaster Assistance center. At this center people who were affected by the Beulah Hill Fire can find information about any assistance resources that are available to help with recovery. The DAC is located at the Colorado State Fairgrounds 4H Center.

What is at the DAC?

Pueblo County Sheriff's Office will provide permit access to those able to return home.
Red Cross kit with first aid supplies available at the DAC
photo by Ray Granado/American Red Cross


Pueblo City County Health Department will be at the DAC to provide free tetanus shots to help protect those involved in cleanup. They can also provide water testing equipment for anyone concerned about water quality.

Care and Share will provide food boxes (1 per family) to people returning to their homes.

Several other organizations will be at the DAC offering a variety of services that will help with recovery.

The Red Cross is on sight with caseworkers to talk with those affected about their next steps toward recovery. Those steps will include referrals to community resources, advice on cleanup and information about how people can be ready for any emergency.

The Disaster Assistance Center will be open until 9:00 P.M. this evening to accommodate people that are allowed to go back to their homes. Friday through Sunday the DAC will be open from 10 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. 
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Beulah Hill Fire Response Update: Thursday 2:00 P.M.

Phase 2 of Reentry plan began today and several more families were allowed back in their homes. To find out more information about the reentry plan and how it might affect you or your home please go to puebloemergency.info. Information is also available at the Joint Information Center in Pueblo using the phone number (719) 583-4640.

Disaster Assistance Center Opened in Pueblo
Pueblo County has established a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) that is open from 10 AM to 4 PM each day. The DAC is located in the 4H building of the Colorado State Fairgrounds. At
Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteers at the DAC
ready to hand out cleanup kits. Photo by Bill Fortune
the DAC people can get the latest information about reentry and recovery. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are providing cleanup kits and you can meet with a Red Cross caseworker to kearn about resources available to those affected by the Beulah Hill Fire.


Anyone that is going back to their home must go through a permit process at the DAC.

For more information visit puebloemergency.info or call (719) 583-4640. 


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Beulah Hill Fire Response Update: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Red cross continues to support the people evacuated due to the Beulah Hill Fire. Phase one of reentry occurred overnight allowing repopulation for some of the evacuated area. Please see puebloemergency.info for the latest evacuations an reentry information.


The Red Cross will participate in the Disaster Assistance Center that will open today at 10:00 A.M. Red Cross caseworkers will be on hand to provide information about accessing Red Cross support for recovery. Clean up kits will be available for those homes that are allowed to be repopulated. 

The Red Cross continues to operate a shelter at the Southwest Motors Event Center. As temperatures fall tonight those needing shelter should take advantage of this facility to have a safe, warm place to stay.
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Beulah Hill Fire Response Update:Wednesday, October 5, 2016

COMMUNITY MEETING FOR BEULAH HILL FIRE EVACUEES 

A community meeting has been scheduled for 5:30 PM at Roncalli STEM Academy located at 4202 CO-78, Pueblo, CO. This meeting is for people who have been affected by the Beulah Hill Fire.

Red Cross continues to support the people who have been affected by the Beulah Hill Fire. Thirty-six people ate breakfast at the shelter that is located at the Southwest Motors Event Center at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo. Overnight shelter registration count remained at 30.
Red Cross volunteer Rich Garcia talks with John Clay
at the Red Cross shelter. Mr. Clay was evacuated
due to the Beulah Hill Fire. Photo by Bill Fortune/
American Red Cross

Our disaster responders continue to coordinate with local, state and federal governments and with the Southern Colorado Volunteer organizations Active in Disaster (SCVOAD) to make sure that immediate needs are being met.

How can I donate items?
For the most part, ample supplies and equipment are available for fire fighters and for those staying at the Red Cross shelter. The best way to find out what items are needed is to visit www.helpcoloradonow.org. Click on the Beulah Hill Fire tab to get access to donation information. Financial donations can also be made at that site.

Can I volunteer to help? 
If you are looking to help within the community to support those affected by the fire please visit www.helpcoloradonow.org and click on the Beulah Hill Fire tab. If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer you can vist www.redcross.org/colorado and click on the VOLUNTEER tab.

Where can I get more information about the fire?
The Pueblo County Sheriff maintains a couple of sites that can provide up to date information.
Web site www.puebloemergency.info
 Facebook: Pueblo County Sheriff
Twitter: @pueblocoountyso

Reentry Information
In the days to come people will be allowed back into their homes, Some of the homes may have fire and smoke damage, some may have been sprayed by fire retardant and those without electricity will likely have spoiled food. There is also a concern about wild animals that may be in the area searching for food. The Red Cross will be part of the recovery process and when areas are opened to allow a return to homes there will be clean up kits and other supplies available to help with the cleanup. More information will be provided when these materials are available.

For the latest information about how to handle reentry please go to Pueblo County Health Department website. Here are some additional helpful tips:

Returning Home & Recovering after a Wildfire

  • Do not enter your home until fire officials say it is safe.
  • Use caution when entering burned areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning.
  • Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.
  • Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety—warn family and neighbors to keep clear of the pits also.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn your pets’ paws or hooves.
  • Follow public health guidance on safe cleanup of fire ash and safe use of masks.
  • Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
  • Wear leather gloves and heavy soled shoes to protect hands and feet.
  • Cleaning products, paint, batteries and damaged fuel containers need to be disposed of properly to avoid risk.
  • Ensure your food and water are safe
  • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Do NOT ever use water that you think may be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
Inspecting your home
  • If there is no power, check to make sure the main breaker is on. Fires may cause breakers to trip. If the breakers are on and power is still not present, contact the utility company.
  • Inspect the roof immediately and extinguish any sparks or embers. Wildfires may have left burning embers that could reignite.
  • For several hours afterward, recheck for smoke and sparks throughout the home, including the attic. The winds of wildfires can blow burning embers anywhere. Keep checking your home for embers that could cause fires.
  • Take precautions while cleaning your property. You may be exposed to potential health risks from hazardous materials.
  • Debris should be wetted down to minimize health impacts from breathing dust particles.
  • Use a two-strap dust particulate mask with nose clip and coveralls for the best minimal protection.
  • Wear leather gloves to protect hands from sharp objects while removing debris. 
  • Wear rubber gloves when working with outhouse remnants, plumbing fixtures, and sewer piping. They can contain high levels of bacteria.
  • Hazardous materials such as kitchen and bathroom cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel, and damaged fuel containers need to be properly handled to avoid risk. Check with local authorities for hazardous disposal assistance.
  • If you have a propane tank system, contact a propane supplier. Turn off valves on the system, and leave valves closed until the supplier inspects your system.
  • If you have a heating oil tank system, contact a heating oil supplier for an inspection of your system before using.
  • Visually check the stability of the trees. Any tree that has been weakened by fire may be a hazard.
  • Look for burns on the tree trunk. If the bark on the trunk has been burned off or scorched by very high temperatures completely around the circumference, the tree will not survive and should be considered unstable.
  • Look for burnt roots by probing the ground with a rod around the base of the tree and several feet away from the base. If the roots have been burned, you should consider this tree very unstable.
  • A scorched tree is one that has lost part or all of its leaves or needles. Healthy deciduous trees are resilient and may produce new branches and leaves as well as sprouts at the base of the tree. Evergreen trees may survive when partially scorched but are at risk for bark beetle attacks.

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Beulah Hill Fire Response UPDATE - Tuesday, October 4, 2016 3:00 P.M.

Red Cross Consolidates Shelters for Beulah Hill Fire Evacuees
Shelter Remains Open at Colorado State Fairgrounds

Pueblo, CO, Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 3:00 P.M. MDT – The American Red Cross continues to support the people from the Beulah Valley and Beulah who have been evacuated by the fast moving wildfire.

In an effort to provide the best possible shelter support the two shelters previously opened for the Beulah Hill Fire have been consolidated into one shelter. The shelter is located at the Southwest Motors Event Center at the Colorado State Fairground in Pueblo. The street address for the Colorado State Fairgrounds is 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, Co. Entrance to the Fairgrounds is at the Beulah Gate on the east end of the grounds.

Anyone who has been evacuated due to the Beulah Hill Fire can go to the Southwest Motors Event Center where Red Cross volunteers will provide comfort, hope and a warm meal.
Red Cross volunteer helps serve lunch at the Roncalli Shelter.
Lunch was provided by Applebees in Pueblo. Photo by
Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

As usual, we are impressed by the outpouring of generosity and kindness from the Pueblo and surrounding communities. At this time we are working with partners, nonprofits organizations and businesses to help make the situation easier to deal with. People who want to donate items to help those evacuated are urged to call the Donation Line at 719-583-4662. We are coordinating those requests and immediate needs with the Southern Colorado Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster so that we have a joint response effort.

Shelter Location:
Southwest Motors Event Center, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo.

Small pets should be taken to the Pueblo Animal Services located at 4600 Eagle Ridge Place in Pueblo. Large animals should be taken to the Colorado State Fairgrounds Gate 6.

For the latest Red Cross information please see our blog at http://coloradoredcross.blogspot.com/2016/10/evacuation-for-beulah-hill-fire.html.  Follow us on Twitter as @ppredcross.

For information about the fire and evacuations please visit www.puebloemergency.info.

Want to volunteer to help local organizations in their effort to help the evacuees? Please visit www.helpcoloradonow.org and sign up as a volunteer. That site also has information about donations.

If you would like to be a Red Cross volunteer so that we have the resources we need to take care of local disasters and emergencies please visit www.redcross.org/colorado/volunteer. 





Beulah Fire Response UPDATE - Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Two shelters remain open for those people affected by the Beulah Hills Fire that is just west of Pueblo, Colorado.

Roncalli Middle School - 30 people were registered at the shelter
Southwest Motors Event Center - 4 people registered at the shelter

While some people slept in the shelter, people also slept in their cars just outside the shelter. In most cases the people outside chose to stay in their cars with their pets.

Pet sheltering is available at no cost from Pueblo Animal Services located at 4600 Eagle Ridge Pl. Large animals can be housed at the Colorado State Fair grounds (enter through Gate 6).

Red Cross volunteers will continue to be at the two shelters to provide comfort and support.

In kind donations:The Red Cross and Pueblo County currently have adequate supplies to support the evacuees and fire responders. Please hold your donations until they are called for.

Want to Volunteer? The Red Cross is accepting volunteer applications for those interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Please visit our website www.redcross.org/colorado/volunteeer to begin the application process. All volunteers must complete a background check and basic Red Cross shelter training.
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Beulah Hill Fire Update - 10:30 PM Monday, October 3, 2016

Due to expanded evacuation requirements and at the request of Pueblo County Emergency Management the Red Cross will be opening a second shelter in Pueblo. The second shelter will be located in the Southwest Motors Event Center at the Colorado State Fairground and should be available for evacuees by midnight. Evacuees can enter the Fairgrounds through the Beulah Gate (east end of Fairgrounds).

The shelter at Roncalli Middle School will remain open overnight. 

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Beulah Hill Fire Update - 8:55 p.m. Monday, October 3, 2016

The evacuation center at Roncalli Middle School in Pueblo has been activated as an overnight shelter to house people evacuated due to the Beulah Mountain Fire. Cots have been set up and Red Cross volunteers are on scene to provide support. The shelter is located at Roncalli Middle School, 4202 CO-78, Pueblo, Colorado, 81005.
Health department volunteers and Red Corssers
set up cots at the Roncalli MS shelter, Photo by
Dave Duran/American Red Cross
If you are evacuated due to the Beulah Hill Fire, or, if you feel threatened by the fire you are welcome at the Roncalli shelter. People with respiratory problems that have decided to evacuate the area on their own are also welcome at the shelter.

What to bring to a Red Cross Shelter:
Basic need items like cots, blankets, food and water are available at the shelter. Please try to bring your own pillow and any special need items like medications or comfort items.
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  • Beulah Hill Fire Update-6:30 P.M. Monday, October 3, 2016
  • The Red Cross evacuation center remains open at Roncalli Middle School in Pueblo. Evacuation orders and preevacuation orders continue to be issued for areas of western Pueblo County as the wildfire continues to be pushed along by strong gusty winds.
    Red Cross provided water to fire fighters. Photo by
    Dave Duran/American Red 
  • Pueblo volunteers provided water to the fire responders to help keep them stay hydrated. According to a Red Cross volunteer the responders were very appreciative. Our partners,The Salvation Army, will provide an evening meal.  
  • Donations: We are currently well supplied with resources to support the evacuation center and the fire fighters. Those wishing to donate inkind items should please hold on to them and if they become needed we will announce that to the public through social and traditional media.
  • For the latest fire and evacuation information go to puebloemergency.info
  • If you are faced with an evacuation notice here are some tips to help you.
    • Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
    • Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
    • Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
    • Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
    • Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
    • Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.
    • Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.
    • Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you do not have air conditioning and it is too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere.
    • When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns and adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves. Do not vacuum because it stirs up particles that are already inside your home.
    • If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider's advice and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.
    • If you have pets or animals make sure you consider their needs during an evacuation
    • When evacuating make sure you have alternate routes just in case your primary route is closed. 
    Most importantly if you are given an evacuation order please follow the guidelines provided by law enforcement or fire department personnel. 

    For fire and evacuation information please visit puebloemergency.info

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    Update at 4:00 P.M. Red Cross evacuation center remains open at Roncolli Middle School in Pueblo. Pets should be taken to the Pueblo Animal Services located at 4600 Eagle Ridge Pl in Pueblo. Large animals should be taken to the Colorado State Fairgrounds.

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    Red Cross Opening Evacuation Center for Beulah Hill Fire
    Evacuation Center at Roncalli Middle School

    Pueblo, CO, Monday, October 3, 2016 – The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at Roncalli Middle School, located at 4202 CO-78, Pueblo, CO 81005.

    The shelter has been opened to accommodate those people being evacuated due to the Beulah Hill Fire. Red Cross volunteers will be on scene to provide light refreshments and information. This is an evacuation center only for those affected by the Beulah Hill Fire.

    Information for those under evacuation notice: Follow instructions provided by Law enforcement and Fire Department. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect that indicated rapid and erratic fire growth. Proceed to the evacuation center immediately.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.