Dear Red Cross of Alaska supporter,
I wanted to provide an update on the two large fires Red Cross of Alaska volunteers responded to in Anchorage over the weekend. We assisted a total of 30 people in less than 48 hours and opened one shelter:
In the late evening hours of Saturday, August 11, the American Red Cross of Alaska was contacted by the Anchorage Fire Department and responded to a multi-unit home fire on Reka Street in Anchorage. The fire affected 22 units.
The Red Cross of Alaska emergency response vehicle was on scene to provide support. Red Cross volunteers also opened a common room to provide affected residents with a safe location, out of the rain, while a shelter was being prepared at the Fairview Recreation Center in Anchorage. In the on-scene common room, affected residents were provided water, restroom services and a safe and dry place to rest while the situation developed.
After local officials cleared the units for re-entry, Red Cross caseworkers escorted residents back into their homes to collect valuables and other essential items before they were relocated by the Red Cross to the overnight shelter at the Fairview Recreation Center. A total of 20 individuals checked into the shelter, and 12 stayed overnight. A total of ten Red Cross of Alaska volunteers responded and remained at the shelter overnight and on Sunday to provide blankets, cots, comfort kits, meals, snacks and emotional support to those affected.
Two canine teams from National Crisis Response Canines, as well as Red Cross disaster mental health volunteers, volunteer interpreters and two chaplains from the Alaska Police and Fire Chaplains’ Ministries were also at the shelter Sunday morning to provide comfort and support to affected residents and their families.
The Red Cross of Alaska shelter closed Sunday afternoon as most residents were able to safely move back into their units. The Red Cross of Alaska opened for case assistance at 10:00 this morning at the chapter office on 235 E. 8th Ave, Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99501 to provide additional assistance to residents displaced by the fire.
Just as the Fairview Rec Center shelter wrapped, volunteers received a second call Sunday night. There was another multiunit fire, this time near Midtown, at the intersection of Tudor and Cordova. Five Red Cross volunteers responded, immediately providing blankets, comfort kits and snacks to the families, as well as financial assistance for lodging.
Thank you to volunteers Dave, Armando, Suzanne, Sonja, Marina, Bruce, Taryn, Susan, Rolf and James for responding and providing comfort and care.
And last but most definitely not least, I would like to thank you.
This morning, I watched residents from the fires stream in and out of the office to receive additional Red Cross assistance. Young kids played patiently while their parents spoke with their caseworkers. I could hear volunteers discussing what will happen next and giving advice on how to move forward. I caught a glimpse of volunteer team captain, Suzanne as she offered one more hug to a group of young adults as they left the office. They looked tired but relieved as they hugged Suzanne goodbye.
All of this was made possible through your generous support.
On behalf of all the people we’re helping, thank you!
We need your support to continue addressing the urgent needs of people devastated by disasters here in Alaska. Families with nowhere to turn rely on compassionate individuals for relief and hope. Can they count on you today?
To donate to disaster relief in Alaska, please contact me at 907-646-5401, or visit https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/ to support your local Alaska chapter.
Regional Chief Development Officer
American Red cross of Alaska