More than 720,000 households are still without power in areas where extremely warm temperatures are expected to continue over the next several days. The American Red Cross is helping with shelter, food and cooling stations until power can be restored.
West Virginia is one of the hardest hit areas with more than 240,000 homes still without power. The Red Cross has shelters open and has mobilized additional emergency vehicles and kitchens to distribute meals and drinks in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Red Cross disaster workers continue to help those affected by the wildfires out west and flooding in Florida. Almost 650 people spent Wednesday night in 39 Red Cross shelters across 12 states and the District of Columbia. Shelters are open in West Virginia, Montana, Florida, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and around Washington, D.C.
Since early June, the Red Cross has supported families across 16 states, operating shelters, serving more than 237,000 meals and snacks and distributing almost 140,000 relief items like rakes, shovels, coolers, work gloves, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits.
If someone needs to find a Red Cross shelter they can go to www.redcross.org or access the free Red Cross phone app. People can also watch local media reports to find out where shelters are located.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storms and power outages have caused the cancellation of more than 50 Red Cross blood collections in areas without power, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 2,000 units of blood and platelets. The blood supply was already down to emergency levels after 50,000 fewer donations than expected were collected in June.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. To schedule a donation time, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.
POWER OUTAGE While their electricity is out, many people are resorting to generator power. They should connect the equipment they want powered directly to the generator outlets, and never connect a generator to the home’s electrical system.
WILDFIRES Hundreds of people are still unable to go home as wildfires continue to scorch several western states. More than 60 people spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Red Cross disaster workers have served nearly 45,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 11,000 relief items like rakes, shovels, gloves and coolers.
FLORIDA FLOODING More than 75 people continue to stay in Red Cross shelters as communities clean up after the massive flooding from Debby. Hundreds of disaster workers and a fleet of emergency response vehicles are providing shelter, meals and distributing relief supplies. The Red Cross has served more than 44,000 meals and snacks in Florida and distributed more than 26,000 relief items like tarps, gloves, trash bags and cleaning supplies to people cleaning up their homes.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by these disasters can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation..
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.