Significant flooding continues across the Midwest and the American Red Cross is providing relief to those affected while continuing to support those affected by last week’s explosions in Texas and Boston.
MIDWEST FLOODING Residents in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan continue to deal with major flooding and officials say these conditions will continue for the next several days. Homes and businesses are flooded, roads are impassable and people have had to evacuate from their neighborhoods. More than 115 people spent Monday night in Red Cross shelters in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Missouri where Red Cross workers are providing food, relief supplies and emotional support to those affected. In Illinois alone, the Red Cross has already served more than 14,000 meals and snacks to people forced from their homes and personnel fighting the floodwaters.
To the north, sandbagging efforts are set to start today around the Red River in Minnesota and North Dakota where the river could potentially set new crest records. The Red Cross is supporting sandbagging efforts this week by providing water and snacks as the community prepares. There are additional workers and supplies on standby if needed as flooding continues over the next few weeks.
EXPLOSIONS IN TEXAS AND BOSTON Red Cross disaster workers continue to assist those affected by the tragic explosions in West, Texas and Boston. In West, the Red Cross has emergency aid stations available to provide food, water, emotional support, health services and relief supplies as people are allowed to return home. Red Cross workers are also supporting a joint assistance center to help provide recovery resources to those affected. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 7,600 meals and snacks, 2,300 relief items, and hundreds of emotional support and health contacts In Texas.
In Boston, the Red Cross continues to support a family assistance center with local officials and provide emotional support to the community. In the past week, more than 200 Red Cross workers have served nearly 20,000 meals and snacks, handed out hundreds of relief items like blankets and comfort kits and provided 2,200 mental health and health services in Boston. In addition, Red Cross Blood Services provided a total of approximately 800 blood products to hospitals to help the injured after the explosions – 550 in Massachusetts and nearly 250 in Texas.
HOW TO HELP If someone would like to help people affected by disasters like these, they can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. There is enough blood available now to help patients in Texas and Boston. Those who are eligible to give blood are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation time in the days and weeks ahead. To schedule a blood donation, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit www.onefundboston.org.
STEPS TO HELP COPE The Red Cross has information people can use to cope in the aftermath of these tragedies. For free counseling or support which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can contact the SAMSHA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746. Being more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind. Taking an action like downloading the Red Cross first aid app, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help someone feel empowered to face future emergencies.