For the second time in as many months, Texas was once again hit with devastating and historic floods. The American Red Cross is there opening shelters, providing meals, health and mental health services, distributing relief supplies and meeting with those affected to plan their recovery, as well as help with housing and making sure people with disabilities get the help they need. Weeks after floodwaters inundated the region, some people are still spending their days and nights in shelters near Houston.
Robert Barton of the Wayne County community of Savannah is traveling to the Houston area to serve as a disaster assessment supervisor. In March, he provided a similar function in Mississippi.
Barton is the ninth volunteer from the Western and Central New York Region supporting flood relief operations.
Two volunteers from the Greater Rochester Chapter are assisting. Sarah Perkins of Pittsford is working in the region with disaster assessment, and Shortsville resident Leslee Rice is working from home as a call agent.
From the Southern Tier, Peter Zelno of Vestal is in Texas driving an Emergency Response Vehicle. Carol Whitlow, an Ithaca-based Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is now on virtual deployment providing mental health services by phone.
From the Western New York Chapter, Tom Daley from Tonawanda deployed to serve as a client casework supervisor, and Jim Collingwood of Amherst is serving as a logistics supervisor.
From the Central New York Chapter, Barbara Stowe-Ranieri of Syracuse has been deployed to Texas to assist with health services. Cortland resident Frank VanSickle has been working virtually training new virtual call caseworkers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross needs the public’s help now. There have been three times more large-scale disasters during the first months of 2016 than the previous three years combined along with helping at the scene of hundreds of home fires and other smaller disasters every day. People can give to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.