The Red Cross' Disaster Relief team has responded to two fires this Thanksgiving and Black Friday. One home and one condominium that housed four families were destroyed.
"If the American public is not generous with their donations. and we don't have the funds to respond, I don't know what's going to happen to those people," Paul Spata, who volunteers with the Red Cross, said. "I'm already talking with folks who've had fires and are now homeless."
Spata volunteers to meet with people affected by disasters and says this is the of year for house fires. "People are just firing up their furnaces for the first time and sometimes they don't work properly," he said. "As we get into the holidays and people have candles around and trees with dried out pine needles there are more sources for fires, we can be busy."
There are ways you can protect yourself from fire - inspect your home for frayed wires, flammable things like paper and cardboard near water heaters or furnaces and make sure your smoke detectors are working.
"You also want to have a "go kit" handy, so that if there is a disaster and you have to evacuate quickly, you have the things with you that you're going to need," Spata said. The Red Cross steps in to help people get through the immediate emergency. Spata says it's fully funded by donations.
"I don't think any of us want to see people suffer that way," he said.
To donate time or money to the Red Cross, you can visit it's website www.redcross.org
For more tips on how to prepare for a disaster, visit www.ready.gov