Red Cross Begins Clean-Up in Hawaii

Hawaii Shelter
2200 people took refuge from Iselle in Hawaii Red Cross Evacuation Centers

People across the Hawaiian Islands are cleaning up after Tropical Storm Iselle, and the American Red Cross is there to help.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is also helping communities affected by wildfires across the Pacific Northwest, including a new fire in northern California that is threatening hundreds of homes.

ISELLE RESPONSE Red Cross workers in Hawaii are assessing the damage caused by Iselle and the Red Cross also is working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to ensure the right support is offered to help people recover from the storm.

A total of 2,200 people took refuge in 31 Red Cross evacuation centers across Hawaii when Iselle made landfall on Thursday and Friday. In addition to provide a safe and dry place for people to ride out the storm, the Red Cross evacuation centers also had nurses and trained mental health workers on site to help people. These workers made over 50 health contacts and more than 700 emotional support contacts over the past few days.

STAYING SAFE FROM ISELLE’S FLOODWATERS

The Red Cross advises that people should return home only when officials say it is safe. Follow these tips when returning home, especially if you experienced flooding:

  • If possible, leave children and pets with a relative or friend. If not, keep them away from hazards and floodwater.
  • Beware of rodents, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage. It may be too dangerous to enter the home.
  • Smell for gas. If you smell natural gas or propane, or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department.
  • If your home was flooded, assume it is contaminated with mold. Mold increases health risks for those with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions
  • Open doors and windows. Let the house air out before staying inside for any length of time if the house was closed for more than 48 hours.
  • Turn the main electrical power and water systems off until you or a professional can ensure that they are safe. NEVER turn the power on or off, or use and electrical tool or appliance while standing in water.
  • Check the ceiling and floor for signs of sagging. Water may be trapped in the ceiling or floors may be unsafe to walk on.
  • WILDFIRES BURN ACROSS PACIFIC NORTHWEST The Red Cross opened a shelter Sunday in northern California to help people affected by the new July Complex Fire, which threatens more than 600 residences and has resulted in a mandatory evacuation. The Red Cross is also continuing to respond to wildfires in Washington state, where fires have consumed hundreds of thousands of acres over the past month. People living near the wildfires should stay informed about the situation and be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice. The Red Cross provides additional wildfire safety tips here.

    HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross has been working to help people affected by the hurricane in Hawaii and the wildfires in the Northwest, and needs donations to support our work.. Make a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    Tags: Iselle.
    About the American Red Cross:
    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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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