More than 680 people spent Wednesday night in American Red Cross shelters, still unable to return to their homes after last week’s devastating flooding in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia.
Thousands more are dealing with the overwhelming task of digging mud and debris out of their homes, piling their belongings out on the street to be hauled away in trucks. Red Cross volunteers are there with them, distributing meals and handing out items like toothbrushes and shampoo, as well as clean-up items like mops, brooms, tarps, work gloves and garbage bags.
The Red Cross response in the flooded areas will last for weeks as people plan their next steps and take on the massive clean-up. There are steps people can take to remain safe as they return to their homes. Residents should go back to their homes only after officials declare that their neighborhood is safe. Before entering their home, they should look for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, cracks in the home’s foundation or other damage before entering the house. More information on how to stay safe after a flood is available on the Red Cross web site.
As relief operations continue in Pennsylvania, the Red Cross is also assisting those affected by flooding from the same storm in New Jersey, New York and Virginia, as well as those in Texas living in the areas touched by the devastating wildfires. The Red Cross is also still sheltering more than 100 people displaced by flooding in Minot, North Dakota since June
More than 8,000 Red Cross workers have served more than 2.1 million meals and snacks, distributed more than 344,000 comfort and clean-up items and provided more than 37,000 health and mental health services.
The Red Cross response to these multiple disasters across many states will cost millions. If someone would like to help, they can visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.