At least five American Red Cross volunteers from Oregon are currently helping cleanup and recovery efforts in the Montecito area. While the majority of these volunteers are from Portland, the non-profit organization does anticipate sending more from other areas of the state.
Fires in California, followed up by torrential rains have led to mudslides, now slowing entire cities to a stop and claiming lives. Cascade Regional Communications Director Monique Dugaw said volunteers with Red Cross are doing everything they can.
“We want to prevent and relieve that human suffering, and that’s exactly what we’re doing in California,” Dugaw said. “These people living in this area have first been dealing with wildfires that have… have been devastating their community, and now mudslides are further devastation.”
There are five volunteers from the Portland area helping with recovery efforts. Dugaw expects more will join this week.
“We do anticipate in the coming days that more individuals will deploy down to California,” Dugaw said. “It doesn’t appear that those mudslides are letting up anytime soon.”
It’s the latest in what seems like a barrage of natural disasters hammering the U.S.
“In a span of about 50 days, the Red Cross sheltered more people than we have in the past five years,” Dugaw said.
Despite that, Dugaw said the volunteers are ready to help.
“We are working and connecting with people who have lost everything, to begin to facilitate the recovery and get them some assistance to get them on that road to recovery,” Dugaw said.
If you can’t volunteer, but would still like to help, the Red Cross accepts donations on their website. You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 through your phone plan.