By Richard Woodruff, Red Cross
For Iron County Today
On average in Utah, the Red Cross responds to a home fire once every two or three days, but over the past week that number averaged two per day.
Some fires were due to careless fireworks, but even so we saw quite a spike. Furthermore, because 3 of the 11 fires were multi-family apartment fires the Red Cross had to set up shelters to accommodate the many families displaced as new housing options were explored. Other short term emergency needs that had to be addressed were food, infant supplies, clothing, prescription medication replacements, and even mental health services.
While the Red Cross has sufficient resources on hand to handle this volume of responses, it is important that the public be reminded that it is only through the generosity of donors and volunteers that we are able to help when these calls start rolling in.
Please help share the message that financial gifts of any size enable the Red Cross to not only help people such as those affected in these fires, but to also help Utahans prepare for, and recover from disasters big and small.
For example, this year the Red Cross in Utah has installed over 9,000 free smoke alarms as part of our national Home Fire Campaign. The overall goal is to reduce the number of deaths from home fire by 25 percent. within a five-year period. Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent. So far over 260 lives have been saved the result of over 260,000 smoke alarms installed. The next phase of the campaign is called “Sound the Alarm” with the goal to install our millionth smoke alarm sometime during Home Fire Prevention month this October.