The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region responded to multiple home fires this weekend that impacted eight families in Reseda, Granada Hills, Montebello and Inglewood.
Volunteers from the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) responded to multiple home fires throughout Los Angeles providing emergency financial assistance and virtual one-on-one support for 20 individuals affected.
Among the handful of Red Cross DAT volunteers who responded to calls over the weekend, Granda Hills resident David Aks went the extra miles to aid multiple calls for assistance. Returning home from helping a family in Reseda, Aks was notified of another fire and immediately responded the call in Granada Hills.
"I get to help people on their worst day," Aks said. "It's an amazing feeling to bring comfort and care into the hands of people who have just lost their home and everything in it. And that feels good, like I've made a difference in somebody's life today."
Aks and his wife Ann Baltz joined the Red Cross as volunteers in November 2019. Since then, the pair have responded to a multitude of DAT calls at all hours of the day and night and supported Red Cross evacuation points during the height of Southland's fire season.
SEE: How Red Cross provides assistance during COVID-19 pandemic (YouTube)
Single- and multi-family fires account for 90% of disaster responses. Trained and available DAT volunteers are ready to respond to these emergencies, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From offering a caring and compassionate ear, to meeting any immediate needs for shelter or supplies, to connecting people with long term recovery services, our volunteers ensure that families don't have to face tough times alone.
Red Cross volunteers have been re-trained to maintain social distancing and follow proper safety procedures to continue serving communities impacted by local disasters, during the coronavirus outbreak.
With Los Angeles County facing a Safer at Home order, many more of us will be indoors and with a smaller group of loved ones. The Red Cross urges everyone to follow these safety tips to prevent fires and keep everyone safe:
STAY SAFE FROM HOME FIRES
Test your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it's too late.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
Families in our community, across the country and around the world turn to the Red Cross every day to help #EndHomeFires. Hospital patients still need lifesaving blood; neighbors still need food, shelter and care after disasters; and military families still need support. Your help is needed to fulfill the urgent needs of our mission today at redcross.org/la.
Make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by home fires and other disasters in the United States and around the world. Visit redcross.org/donate.
Visit redcross.org/fire for home fire safety information, including an escape plan to practice with your family.
Become a Red Cross volunteer by applying at redcross.org/volunteer.
Download the Red Cross Emergency App by visiting redcross.org/apps or texting 'GETEMERGENCY' to 90999. This all-inclusive app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And the Monster Guard mobile app is specially designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game.