Save the Children Responding to Large-Scale Evacuations in California, as Floodwaters Threaten Oroville Dam

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Feb. 14, 2017) – Nearly 200,000 people have been evacuated from several Northern California counties after the Oroville Dam threatened to fail and flood the surrounding area, putting families and kids at risk.

Save the Children has been working in California since 2004 and its emergency response team is preparing to set up Child Friendly Spaces in the area’s largest evacuation shelters.

When disaster strikes, Save the Children is among the first to respond, helping care for children in disaster shelters and assistance centers by providing Child-Friendly Spaces in coordination with partners, such as the American Red Cross.

These Child-Friendly Spaces are safe, designated areas where children can play, socialize and begin to recover after a disaster. They help protect children and give parents a supportive place to leave their children while attending to their family’s immediate and longer-term needs.

"Children are always among the most vulnerable when crisis strikes. Offering them a safe place to play during times of uncertainty allows them to have much-needed fun again, while building their resiliency," said Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Save the Children’s senior director of U.S. emergency response. "We hope these families are able to return to their homes soon, but while families are evacuated during this crisis, Save the Children will be there to help them recover."

Save the Children has been implementing its evidence-based education and health programs in California since 2004, partnering with 32 schools in five counties to deliver these programs to 9,247 children in the state.

To support Save the Children’s work in Oroville, please visit

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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