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Wildfires Update: United, AFA Mobilize Amidst Mass Evacuations

Date: August 9, 2023

Eleven states are grappling with severe wildfires, leading many residents to hastily evacuate their homes. Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui are the most notably affected at this time, with these "unprecedented" blazes causing destruction, rescue operations, and even forcing some to seek refuge in the ocean, as noted by officials.

United continues efforts to contact Flight Attendants ensuring their wellbeing during this crisis.

Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke highlighted the unusual nature of these wildfires, contrasting them with the usual post-hurricane challenges of rain and flooding. The link between the wildfires and indirect consequences of a hurricane is a new experience for Hawaii.

Some key developments in this challenging event:

Residents, United employees, and crew are urged to stay informed and prepared. The American Red Cross has resources on both wildfire and hurricane readiness:

  •        Prioritize safety; evacuate if directed and inform the United Inflight Duty Manager by post contacting 911.
  •        AFA emphasizes listening to local directives and not returning home until deemed safe.
  •        Shelter locations and real-time alerts are available on the Red Cross Emergency app.

For those seeking refuge at a Red Cross shelter, remember to bring personal and essential items. The United AFA MEC will continue updating its website. AFA EAP support is available 24/7 at 844-232-2228, Ext. 1.

Disasters impact lives deeply. The AFA Disaster Relief Fund seeks donations to support affected members. Contributions directly assist impacted Flight Attendants. To donate, visit AFA CWA.

To Apply for Relief Funds: Visit www.afacwa.org/drf to download the Disaster Relief Fund Application. Submit by:

  •        Phone: 1-800-424-2406

Wildfire Safety Tips: Wildfires can escalate rapidly. The American Red Cross advises:

  •        Parking cars towards evacuation routes.
  •        Keeping pets easily accessible.
  •        Maintaining indoor air quality by sealing homes.
  •        Refraining from using burning items. If trapped outside, seek shelter in water or clear areas, and keep low to avoid smoke inhalation. More details on wildfire safety can be accessed here.

Climate Crisis: The growing intensity of climate-linked disasters like wildfires and heatwaves underscore the deepening climate crisis. The anticipated El Niño might further exacerbate the situation. The Red Cross's climate crisis initiatives can be explored here.

We remain committed to the safety of our flying partners amid this challenging event.

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