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Red Cross Coordinates Volunteer Community Response

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Complex emergencies like the water crisis in Flint require the coordination and cooperation of a variety of partners to make sure the affected community has the right tools.

The American Red Cross is working closely with government, non-profit and other community partners to help local residents in Flint during this difficult and emotionally charged time. A state of emergency was recently declared over the water crisis in the city of Flint. Because of investments in disaster preparedness, the Red Cross had the resources – human and material – ready to go.

Complex emergencies like the water crisis in Flint require the coordination and cooperation of a variety of partners to make sure the affected community has the right tools. The Red Cross is supporting the City of Flint, Genesee County Emergency Management and the State of Michigan who are leading relief efforts during this crisis.

In Flint, the Red Cross is helping to coordinate volunteers, distribution efforts, supply storage and logistics planning in concert with local officials. Items including bottled water, water filters, replacement cartridges and home water testing kits are being provided to Flint residents through the government.

In coordination with government and community partners, the Red Cross is supporting the emergency response effort with volunteers who are distributing supplies to people impacted. The Red Cross is handing out government-issued water, water filters, water testing kits and educational materials.

As of January 27th, more than 29,500 cases of water and 19,000 water filters or replacement filters have been distributed by Red Cross volunteers in Flint. Thus far, 220 Red Cross volunteers and staff members have coordinated these efforts, and that number is expected to grow. Finally, trained Red Cross logistics specialists are working closely with government officials to identify vulnerable populations and develop operational plans for the coming months.

The State of Michigan has partnered with local officials to establish five water resource sites in Flint where residents may pick up bottled water, water filters, replacement cartridges and home water testing kits.

The Red Cross is supporting distribution efforts by coordinating volunteers and providing logistical support. As of January 24, 2016, the Red Cross has helped distribute over 28,000 cases of water, nearly 19,000 water filters and replacement filters, and over 14,000 testing kits to over 27,500 homes visited. Red Cross Emergency Response vehicles are also helping the Genesee County Emergency Management Agency with delivery of items door-to-door in neighborhoods.

Free water resource sites are open in five locations, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at City of Flint fire stations located at:

o Fire Station #1, 310 East 5th St., Flint, MI 48502

o Fire Station #3, 1525 Martin Luther King Ave., Flint, MI 48503

o Fire Station #5, 3402 Western Rd., Flint, MI 48506

o Fire Station #6, 716 West Pierson Rd., Flint, MI 48505

o Fire Station #8, 202 East Atherton Rd., Flint MI 48507

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Is the Red Cross accepting water donations?

A. At this time, the Red Cross is not accepting donations of material goods including water. Items such as bottled water, water filters, replacement cartridges and home water testing kits are being provided to Flint residents through our government partners. We understand that many people want to help and anyone wishing to provide material, in-kind, or financial donations can visit www.helpforflint.com for more information. For extra-large donations, such as multiple semi-trucks, delivery arrangements can be made by emailing Janet Hunter at hunterj8@michigan.gov.

Q. How will the Red Cross pay for these response efforts?

A. Donations to Red Cross Disaster Relief are being used to provide help right now by supporting volunteer recruitment, water distribution and other logistical efforts.

Q. How can people support Red Cross disaster relief efforts?

A. Donations to Red Cross Disaster Relief are being used to provide help right now by supporting volunteer recruitment, water distribution and other logistical efforts. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. This includes the crisis in Flint and nearly 66,000 other disasters we handle every year around the country.

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 generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters such as the ongoing flooding, recent tornadoes and winter storms If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today 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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.