The American Red Cross continues to respond to the recent lake effect storm that continues to affect much of Western New York. A shelter remains open at Iroquois Middle School, 2111 Girdle Road in Elma, and the Red Cross is working with emergency officials at the state, county and local level to place additional shelter locations on standby should predicted flooding, roof collapses or power outages force evacuations.
Teams of Disaster Assessment volunteers are on the ground to assess the damage and help guide and plan the relief efforts moving forward. Volunteers have begun using four Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) to bring food, water and support directly to people in some of the hardest hit areas. Plans are also being made to distribute clean-up kits including mops, buckets, bleach and more to help residents begin the recovery process.
There are currently over 100 Red Cross volunteers working on the lake effect storm relief operation. Since the storm began on Tuesday, November 18, the Red Cross has:
· Operated or supported 19 shelters
· Served more than 2,850 meals and snacks
· Distributed 251 comfort kits
· Trained Disaster Mental Health volunteers have made hundreds of contacts to help people deal with the emotional response to this disaster
As flood warnings remain in effect for much of Western New York, the Red Cross urges people to stay away from flood waters; six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep a person off their feet. Do not drive on flooded roads; most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. Download the free Red Cross Flood App from iTunes or Google Play for safety tips and real time weather warnings. Flood safety information is also available at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood, and additional preparedness tips are available through the Governor’s free online Citizen Preparedness Corps training, available at http://prepare.ny.gov/online-citizen-preparedness-training (choose Red Cross on the referral dropdown menu).