Hundreds of American Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, working around the clock to help thousands of people forced from their homes after devastating floods.
Volunteer Marieanna Elliott of Hamburg will be deploying to Texas to work in Disaster Mental Health, helping families deal with the emotional trauma of this disaster. Volunteers Shelley Licurse of Manlius, Sarah Perkins of Pittsford and Diane Sargent of Lockport deployed previously to Louisiana, while Robert Barton is serving in Mississippi.
In addition, four regional volunteers are supporting the relief efforts virtually. Carlos Alverio of Rochester, Leonard Malinowski of Canandaigua, Leslee Rice of Shortsville and Frank VanSickle of Cortland will be working as call agents, conducting client interviews by phone to assess clients’ needs and to determine appropriate assistance. The information they gathers will be entered electronically for follow-up by caseworkers in the affected regions.
The Red Cross continues to open shelters and provide meals for those affected. Thursday night, more than 525 people sought help in 23 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. In some areas where flood waters have receded, the Red Cross is distributing comfort kits containing personal hygiene items as well as cleaning supplies such as shovels, rakes, bleach and work gloves. Understandably, this has been a difficult time for many families – and Red Cross disaster mental health workers have been deployed to help people cope in the aftermath of many challenging situations. Volunteers are also helping to replace needed items like prescription medications and eyeglasses.
Since the flooding began, nearly 1,000 Red Cross workers have provided 2,500 overnight stays in 55 shelters, served 49,000 meals and snacks, and distributed 18,000 relief items including comfort kits and cleaning supplies.
Large disasters like this flooding create more needs than any one organization can meet. Consequently, the Red Cross works closely with the entire response community – federal, state, county and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently. We will be working closely with these partners in the weeks and months ahead to ensure people receive the help they need.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.