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Generous Donors Allow Red Cross to Respond Swiftly and Effectively to California Wildfires
Date:10/29/2007

Costs of Response Essentially Met but Donations Still Needed to Prepare for Future Disasters

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The American Red Cross today announced that it has met the expected costs of the California wildfires but still needs donations to its Disaster Relief Fund to ensure it can respond to the next disaster just as swiftly and effectively as it did in Southern California.

When the wildfires struck, the Red Cross opened 26 shelters in Southern California, providing a safe place to stay for approximately 6,000 evacuees at the peak of the fires. Some 5,000 Red Cross disaster relief workers --- more than 90 percent of them volunteers from all 50 states -- rushed to ensure that survivors had shelter, food, and comfort. Survivors are now receiving clean-up supplies, counseling, basic healthcare and family connecting services. In the coming weeks and months, the Red Cross will continue to work with community partners to identify resources that can aid in the long term recovery of survivors.

This level of response would not have been possible without on-going donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross has made investments to improve its response capabilities, such as pre-positioning cots and other supplies in strategic locations across the country. While the Red Cross believes that due to the extraordinary generosity of the American public, current financial donations and pledges will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of the California wildfires, donations are still urgently needed for the Disaster Relief Fund.

"We are extremely grateful to the American people for their outpouring of support to the victims of the California wildfires. Now that the cost of this response is essentially met, we hope the public will continue to support our Disaster Relief Fund, which enabled the Red Cross to respond quickly, effectively and compassionately
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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