The American Red Cross continues to help residents of Texas where the rain has stopped but flooding is still a danger as rivers remain above flood stage. More than 155 people spent Sunday night in Red Cross shelters in Texas.
RED CROSS RESPONSE More than 2,100 Red Cross workers have been working around the clock in Texas since early May, serving more than 63,000 meals and snacks, distributing more than 47,000 relief items and providing more than 2,000 overnight stays in shelters. Officials estimate 8,000 residences have been affected and 45 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are traveling through the impacted neighborhoods, distributing food, water and relief supplies.
Red Cross workers are also providing health services such as replacing lost eyeglasses and medications and providing emotional support to those affected. Red Cross mobile kitchens are preparing meals and trained Red Cross workers are in Multi-Agency Resource Centers, meeting one-on-one with people to help them plan their recovery and locate help from other agencies.
GLAD TO BE ALIVE
James Randall “Randy” Martin of Wimberley, Texas, is grateful to be alive. He awoke during the night of May 23 to see the Blanco River running by his home and water on the floor. Martin knew the situation was serious and called his partner, Pegi Eckert, a nurse who was working at a nearby hospital. She told him to call 911 and by the time he got off the phone, the water was up to his knees.
Water quickly rose to his chest. The Wimberley resident lost his balance and fell under the water, losing his phone. Suddenly he saw the light from a rescue boat which kept going. “I thought they had missed me. I thought that was my last chance,” Martin said.
But the boat returned and as they pulled him from his window, Martin had never been so happy to see someone else in his entire life. Almost a week later, the couple found themselves in a Multi-Agency Resource Center, located at the Wimberley Community Center where the Red Cross has pulled in volunteers from across the state and country, ready to help people like them.
“We love you. You’re wonderful. You’re angels walking on earth,” Eckert said.
RED CROSS NURSES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
“Helping folks is what we do. It’s what I love about being a Red Cross nurse,” says Cathy Keir, R.N., who traveled from Arizona to help the flood stricken residents of San Marcos, TX.
“This morning was a perfect example of what we do,” Keir shared. “We had a woman staying in our shelter who had run out of her medications. Some of these medications must be taken daily, and she had run out several days ago. Just being able to help her get those medicines today and seeing her expression of relief made my day.
“I know that what I do, and what all our Red Cross volunteers do, makes a difference in the lives of these folks. It’s why we leave our homes and families within 24 hours of a phone call to fly across the country and help. It gives me such fulfillment, such joy.”
Keir has been a Red Cross volunteer for about two and a half years, but clearly she is a veteran in helping people in need. “There is such a need here. These people have lost so much. Some have come here with only the clothes on their backs. They need our help and we, as the Red Cross, will do all we can to see that their essential needs are met,” Keir said.
A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help provide food, water and shelter for someone who has to leave their home. Help people affected by disasters like floods, tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
DOWNLOAD THE EMERGENCY APP The Red Cross “Emergency” app can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. You can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.