The American Red Cross is providing food and shelter in southern Texas after Hurricane Alex made landfall late Wednesday evening as a category 2 storm. Alex was the first hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, bringing with it heavy wind and rain as well as strong threats of tornadoes and flooding. Alex has since been downgraded to a Tropical Storm.
Several Red Cross chapters managed and supported shelters overnight as hundreds of people sought refuge from the storm. As dangerous conditions from the hurricane abate, Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) will fan out into the various neighborhoods to assess what people need as they begin to clean up after Alex.The 19 ERVs on the scene have the capability of delivering food and supplies to those who need them.
“A hurricane as strong as Alex is rare in June and is another sign that this could be a very active hurricane season as forecasters have predicted,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president for American Red Cross Disaster Services. “We were ready for Alex and we’ll continue to gear up for future hurricanes threatening the United States. But it’s also important for families to know ahead of time what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go and what you’re going to take well before the next hurricane strikes.”
As people return home after the storm, the Red Cross has steps they can follow to remain safe. First, return home only when officials have declared the area safe. Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company. Stay out of any building that has water around it. Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater. For more information, there are Red Cross hurricane and flooding safety checklists available.
Several partner organizations are working with the Red Cross in Texas to ensure help is available for everyone who needs it. Some of these include the NAACP, Boat People SOS, National Council of La Raza, National Baptists, Catholic Charities and the National Judiciary Interpreters and Translators.
If you would like to help people affected by Hurricane Alex, and thousands of disasters across the country and around the world, you can donate to Red Cross Disaster Response by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). People can also text “RedCross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.