Thousands of people across Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia are trying to get back on their feet after destructive floodwaters inundated their neighborhoods, and the American Red Cross is there with them, operating shelters, distributing meals and handing out supplies to help as the clean-up begins.
More than 1,000 people spent Tuesday night in Red Cross shelters throughout the affected states. Red Cross workers are traveling through the affected communities aboard more than 100 emergency response vehicles, distributing food, snacks and drinks to those affected. Meals are being prepared through a partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention. The Red Cross is also handing out comfort items like toothbrushes and shampoo, as well as clean-up items like mops, brooms, tarps, work gloves and garbage bags.
“Words cannot express the comfort on people’s faces when they see the Red Cross, especially after they receive a meal after cleaning up mud all day,” said Colleen Phillips, a resident of the greater Wilkes-Barre, Pa. area who is assisting with the recovery efforts in that area. “The Red Cross is doing amazing things out there.”
The clean-up after the recent flooding will take weeks. Many homes have been destroyed or severely damaged – some washed off their foundations by the raging waters.
“We’re there now, helping people get back on their feet,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross. “And we’ll be there in the weeks to come, helping people affected by this devastating flooding.”
Nearly 8,000 Red Cross workers are helping people still trying to recover from the wildfires in Texas and the flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 2.1 million meals and snacks, distributed more than 260,000 comfort and clean-up items and provided more than 34,000 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.Preparedness Fast Facts Get the facts you need — before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation. The American Red Cross developed the following emergency-specific checklists using the latest research, science, best practices and expert opinion.