HEAT ALERT

Heat advisory continues in New Jersey as highs approach near 100 degrees

Red Cross offers tips for NJ residents facing emergency situations

An uptick in house fires across the state is cause for concern for the American Red Cross.

News 12 Staff

Jun 10, 2024, 9:52 PM

Updated 12 days ago

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The trailers and trucks here at the American Red Cross Fairfield headquarters are stocked and ready to go.
From blankets, to comfort hygiene care kits, and even snacks, they have all the essentials someone may need following a disaster.
"They're ready to mobilize for small disasters, large disasters. Every home fire is a disaster to a family or in the cases that's what we've been seeing for many families," said Sheri Ferriera with the North Jersey American Red Cross.
According to the nonprofit volunteers have responded to 22 home fires since June 1, helping more than 200 people from 84 families.
They say that's more than normal for the spring/summer season.
Fires included several that News 12 reported on in Paterson, Bayonne, Newark and Metuchen.
Ferriera says they wouldn't be able to help everyone if it wasn't for their volunteers or donations they receive.
"Sometimes we'll open a reception center where people can gather and wait and see if they can get back into their homes. If they cannot get back into their homes then the Red Cross either opens a shelter in partnership with the local community or we may provide emergency financial assistance to help," said Ferreira. "To help with things like temporary lodging, food, clothing and things to get people through the immediate couple days after a home fire."
Ferriera says with more volunteers and resources, like these disasters relief trucks responding to fires lately, she's offering some fire safety tips in hopes of educating more families.
"It's important to have working smoke detectors in your home," Ferriera says. " When you create a home fire escape plan like I said you should get that in under two minutes. Practice it with your family. Identify two exits out of every room in your home. Work on practicing that. when you get out of a home that has been caught on fire identify a meeting place for family."


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