From the Northeast region to the deep South, across the Midwest to the far Northwest, American Red Cross workers are feeding and sheltering people and helping them clean up neighborhoods devastated by wildfires, tornadoes and flooding.
The latest disasters include wildfires that have scarred thousands of acres in Arizona and flooding in the upper Midwest, even as Red Cross responses continue to a range of tornadoes and other floods.
In Arizona, a wildfire has consumed more than 144,000 acres and mandatory evacuations have been ordered in some areas. The Red Cross is providing food and shelter to those whose homes are threatened by wildfires.
In response to severe flooding in several communities, more than 155 people spent Sunday night in Red Cross shelters. States affected by flooding include Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Vermont. The Red Cross is providing food and shelter for those who had to evacuate their homes, but also to the volunteers who are helping to build sandbag levees. Flooding continues to affect those living in the Missouri River Basin, along the Mississippi River, and around swollen rivers in Vermont. Evacuations have been ordered in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.
Meanwhile, almost 500 people stayed in Red Cross shelters Sunday night in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri and Alabama after those areas received heavy tornado damage. Red Cross workers are distributing food, water, comfort kits and clean-up items throughout those regions.
In addition, hurricane season started on June 1, and a disturbance in the Caribbean which could become a tropical storm later this week is already being closely watched. Heavy rain, flash floods and mudslides are possible in Haiti from the storm.
The seemingly endless string of spring disasters began in late March with tornadoes in Pennsylvania and Tennessee and wildfires in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado.
Since March 31, the Red Cross has launched 41 large disaster relief operations across 28 states, opening more than 260 shelters and providing 28,000 overnight stays. More than 11,000 Red Cross workers have served more than 2.6 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 1.2 million comfort and clean-up items. Health and mental health services workers have provided more than 60,000 consultations, consoling people who have lost everything, and helping replace lost medications and eyeglasses.Thousands of people’s lives have been affected by these disasters. Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; you can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.