Asheville-Mountain Area Wildfire Reponse

Wildfire season is in full swing and the American Red Cross Asheville – Mountain Area is hard at work supporting the Forestry Service, Black Mountain Fire Department, area responders and families affected by a raging wildfire.

Since Tuesday evening, the Red Cross has had over 25 disaster volunteers on site providing safe overnight accommodations for several displaced residents, and serving more than 1,200 meals and snacks to the team of responders who continue their work to gain control of the blaze that has burned more than 590 acres. Though the blaze is now more than 80 percent contained, responders will be battling hot spots for several more days.
he Black Mountain fire began early afternoon Tuesday, March 31, and continues to rapidly spread burning more than 590 acres, and damaging and destroying several homes in the community of Ridgecrest. Fueled by humidity, the blaze is only about 25 percent
contained; therefore, responders will most likely be battling this fire for several more days.

The Red Cross plans to keep its support operation going as long as first responders are in need. A Red Cross evacuation shelter is also on stand by for residents in the Swannanoa community. When it is safe to do so, volunteers will work with community members to assess damages and determine any assistance needed for the recovery process.

Please be careful as high winds and dry conditions bring about more wildfires across parts of the country. Learn more about how to stay safe before, during and after wildfires. If you know a relative or friend seeking assistance after the wildfire, they can find their local Red Cross by visiting or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.


3rd Annual Foothills Homeless Veterans Stand Down

Cropped Group Photo-1 The American Red Cross Carolina Piedmont Region Services to Armed Forces joined forces with the Foothills Homeless Veteran Stand Down committee recently to hold the 3rd Annual Foothills Homeless Veterans Stand Down. As a vital partner, more than 20 Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces volunteers were available to assist Veterans in various areas.
Over 200 Foothills Homeless Veterans attended the event, held at the American Legion in Hickory, North Carolina. Throughout the day, Veterans were provided the following basic essential services in an effort to enhance their health and living conditions.
• Food
• Shelter
• Clothing
• Health screenings
• VA and Social Security benefits counseling
• Referrals to health care, housing, employment and substance abuse treatment.

The Red Cross also afforded each veteran a comfort kit containing hygiene items. The Comfort Kits are comprised of basic personal supplies people use on a daily basis – wash cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, tissues, deodorant, shave gel and a razor, shampoo, hand soap and lotion.

The Homeless Veteran Stand Down is modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being.

Stand Down provides veterans with medical, dental help and more

On Friday, April 20, veteran organizations, medical personnel, social service representatives and community leaders will hold a “Stand Down” event to provide services for homeless veterans.

Organizers have reached out to homeless veterans in 10 counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Watauga and Wilkes. At least 250 veterans are expected to attend, and plans for transportation to the event are under way.

The event, at the Fairgrounds in Hickory, will provide:

Homeless veterans and veterans group volunteers pose for a picture during a fundraiser for the Foothills Stand Down.
  •  breakfast and lunch
  • healthcare screenings
  • dental and vision services
  • podiatry
  • nutrition and health education
  • social services
  • mental health/substance abuse services
  • clothing
  • sleeping bags, toiletries, boots and other military surplus items  

The Red Cross has provided logistical support and volunteers for the event through the Service to Armed Forces program.

To get involved:  

Web site: 



Caldwell County PE teachers brush up on CPR skills

Moira Brookshire, from South Caldwell High School, does a finger sweep of a mannequin during CPR training.

On Monday morning, American Red Cross instructors trained nearly 40 physical education teachers in CPR and First Aid.

Instructors from South Caldwell High, Hibriten and William Lenoir Middle schools (among others) became certified in life-saving skills.

Jon Gragg, teacher at William Lenoir Middle School, performs chest compressions on a mannequin during CPR training.

“We are thrilled to be able to train our local teachers in CPR because having that skill is so vital,” said Suzan Anderson, local Red Cross community executive. “These teachers are trusted with students on a daily basis, and they are empowered with life-saving knowledge.”

Get trained