“Getting help into the hands of people as quickly as possible is the priority of the Red Cross in times of disaster,” said Mitch Figert, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of North Central Indiana.
“From our experience with other significant disasters, outreach visits coupled with direct distribution of relief items is an effective combination to speed recovery efforts in disasters of this magnitude.”
In the week since the Red Cross opened a mass care shelter and began mobile distribution, workers have helped families by providing flood clean up kits, comfort kits with personal hygiene products, snacks, meals, bottled water, shovels, work gloves, box fans, dust masks, large trash bags, and other clean up supplies. To date, 941 meals have been served, 436 snacks have been distributed, and 687 clean up supplies have been handed out. With the addition of direct distribution, the American Red Cross is assisting more families each day.
At the service delivery site located at Grace United Methodist Church in Kokomo, Red Cross relief workers are providing casework services to match those affected with the appropriate service and referrals. Licensed mental health workers are available to talk with or provide crisis counseling to families and individuals suffering emotionally from trauma related to the disaster, and first aid stations are staffed by trained Red Cross disaster health workers.
In addition to the service delivery site, families in affected neighborhoods are being visited by outreach teams. These teams visit with families, assess the amount of damage to the homes, and offer direct assistance and referrals as appropriate.
“First and foremost, the mission of the Red Cross is to provide emergency relief to individuals and families devastated by disaster,” Figert said.
The community has been very generous to support our operations in North Central Indiana. As our operations continue to reach out to all the communities affected the need for assistance continues to rise. Those interested in supporting Red Cross services are encouraged to donate online at www.redcross.org/donate or mail a tax-deductible gift to American Red Cross, 210 W. Walnut Street, Kokomo, IN 46901.
For information about Red Cross assistance available for victims of the recent flooding, call 1-888-563-2658.
About the American Red Cross of NCI:
The American Red Cross of North Central Indiana serves the counties of Cass, Grant, Howard, Miami, Tipton and Wabash Counties. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/in/wabash.