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Red Cross Continues To Help People Affected by Flooding - Chicago

cleanup distribution

The American Red Cross continues to provide food, supplies, emotional support and health services in flooded communities in the Chicago region.

Clean-up Kits Distribution

The Red Cross is distributing thousands of cleaning supplies to families who sustained damage in their homes.

The clean-up kits are provided by the Red Cross at no charge and include supplies for both indoor and outdoor cleaning such as rakes, shovels, tarps, buckets, bleach, brooms, sponges, trash bags as well as personal safety items like rubber gloves.

The Red Cross is sending volunteers and trucks filled with cleaning supplies to neighborhoods in some of the hardest hit areas in the region to aid thousands of households recovering from the recent flooding.

Volunteers are also distributing thousands of cleaning items at parks, police departments and other municipal sites around the region. Call 312-729-6200 for a list of open distribution sites. Supplies are limited to first arrival.

A Home Repair Guide is also available on the Red Cross web site.

Feeding and Sheltering

Since the flooding began in mid-April, the Red Cross has provided more than 9,000 meals and snacks to residents displaced from their homes in 11 shelters. Two shelters remain open in Des Plaines and Lisle for residents who cannot safely return home. Volunteers are assisting these families with health and mental health support.

Volunteers Working Day and Night

Hundreds of volunteers are working around the clock to assist the Red Cross’ largest flood recovery operation in Illinois in more than 10 years.

Flood Safety Tips

  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • People often want to know what do after traumatic and emotional events, and taking steps to prepare yourself and your family for future emergencies can help bring peace of mind. Actions such as downloading the Red Cross first aid app, registering for a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help you feel empowered to face future emergencies.

  • Register for a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course at so that you can be better prepared to help in future emergencies. To make getting trained even easier people can now take our Family First Aid and CPR class online by visiting
  • Download the free Red Cross First Aid App that puts free and simple lifesaving information in the hands of smart phone and tablet users. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
  • Over the past 10 years, the Red Cross has launched 127 large relief operations to help people affected by floods in 38 states. We’ve learned that floods can be especially long and costly relief operations as communities wait for floodwaters to recede before they can begin cleaning up their homes and neighborhoods.

    To support our disaster efforts, please make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    The Red Cross was in these areas before the flooding began and we’re there now providing food, shelter, relief supplies and emotional support for people affected by floods. And we’ll continue to be there long after the rivers return to their banks to provide hope and comfort to those affected.

    Visit our Flickr photostream for images of the relief efforts.