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The original item was published from 8/8/2016 10:16:51 AM to 8/31/2016 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: August 8, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Red Cross Information

Talking Points, DR 057-17, Roaring Lion Fire, Friday, August 5, 2016


• The Red Cross has an evacuation shelter in Hamilton for the evacuees of the Roaring Lion Fire. The shelter is located at the First Baptist Church at 354 Cooper Lane in Hamilton. All evacuees are welcome, all registration information is confidential, and all services are free.

• Wildfire evacuees can have meals, snacks and beverages, take showers, and spend the night at the Red Cross shelter, free of charge. The Red Cross can also provide emotional support, including help from licensed mental health providers.

• While Red Cross shelters allow service animals, we cannot accept pets nor accommodate livestock. People who are evacuating can bring their pets to the Bitter Root Humane Association at 262 Fairgrounds Road in Hamilton. Livestock can be brought to the Ravalli County Fairgrounds or to ABC acres in Hamilton. The gates to the fairgrounds are open for people to self-serve.


• The best way for the community to support the evacuees right now is through a financial donation. Financial donations allow us to purchase the exact relief supplies that are needed, right here in Hamilton.

• To make a donation, please go to, call 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668) or send a check to the American Red Cross of Montana, 1300 28th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405.

• The American Red Cross responds to 70,000+ disasters each year in US and around the world. This includes the cost of maintaining a strong network of staff and volunteers, relief supplies, response vehicles and technical resources to respond 24/7. The Red Cross is an independent, charitable organization and does not receive financial support from Federal, State or local governments.


• The Red Cross is very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. Recovery form this fire is going to be a long term effort and unmet needs will still be with us in the weeks and months to come. We are asking the community to wait to donate any additional items until we can assess the community’s most urgent needs, as we don’t have the infrastructure to transport and store the donated items. At this time, a financial donation is the best way help the people that need it most.


• People can download the Red Cross Wildfire App or the Emergency App. The free apps put expert advice and checklists at everybody’s fingertips. They are available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores or at

• The Wildfire app puts critical information at people’s fingertips. It will tell them what to do before, during and after a wildfire evacuation. It also provides wildfire news via InciWeb and has a useful toolkit featuring a flashlight, a strobe light and an alarm. The app also has First Aid information which will show people how to deliver first aid to people who are injured.


The Red Cross has information available on our website to help people prepare for wildfires and to help people return to home safely after a wildfire. Go to to access those checklists.


People who have been affected by a disaster can register themselves on the Red Cross’s Safe & Well website at (or call 1-866-GET-INFO) to let their family and friends know that they are OK. Friends and family can search the website for messages from their loved ones.


• Anyone who is experiencing distress as a result of a disaster like a wildfire can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline.

• The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.

• Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.


• Many people have called us or stopped at our shelter in Hamilton during the last few days to offer their help. While we very much appreciate the outpouring of support we currently have all the help we need. However, we will let you know if that situation changes.

• Most volunteer positions at Red Cross require some training. If you want to sign up to be ready to help when the next major disaster hits our region, go to to find out more about the many volunteer opportunities at the Red Cross.

• During an ongoing disaster relief operation, we ask that people only use our website ( to start the volunteer application process rather than call us via our 800#. During a major response, the volume of incoming calls goes up dramatically, and we need to keep the line open for disaster-related calls and the media. Thank you for understanding.


• Donations to the Red Cross are being used to provide help right now to people in need. Our first priority in any disaster is to get people the help they need.

• Like all disasters, the situation is evolving and it will take some time to determine how much money has been raised to support this operation as well as the total cost of this operation. We won’t have a cost estimate until we have a clearer picture of how long we will be providing help to the victims and how many supplies and workers we’ll need to provide that support.

• Without paid employees to train and support volunteers, warehouses to hold relief supplies, response vehicles to distribute food and computer systems to hold client data, the Red Cross couldn’t respond to disasters in a timely manner. All elements of our disaster program — from purchasing supplies to training volunteers to maintaining a staff at our national headquarters — play a vital role in directly helping disaster victims.

• The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donations made in support of a specific disaster will be used for that disaster. Any designated funds we raise beyond what are needed for emergency relief will be put to use serving the recovery needs of the affected communities.

• An average of 90+ cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs including disaster relief and recovery.

• One of our top priorities is to be cost conscious, so we work hard to keep fundraising and management and general costs low. In this area the Red Cross compares favorably with other nonprofits; we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). One of the BBB’s standards for accountability is that a charity should spend at least 65 percent of total expenses on program activities. The Red Cross outperforms on this measure. We also hold a three-star rating by Charity Navigator, the country’s largest independent charity evaluator.

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