The American Red Cross is on the scene helping residents in different parts of the country where flooding, heavy snow and wildfires have destroyed people’s homes, destroyed bridges and roads, left many without power, and made travel almost impossible.
In New Jersey, New York and New England, a powerful storm buried parts of the region in more than two feet of snow and almost a foot of rain. Swollen rivers in New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Jersey swept away houses and destroyed roads and bridges, cutting off entire communities. Residents were forced from their homes, some having to be rescued by boat. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch declared states of emergency.
In New Hampshire, the Red Cross provided a safe place to stay for almost 150 residents of Keene, Marlow and Alstead who were evacuated because of the flooding. Red Cross disaster workers have more shelters on standby if needed. The Northern New Jersey Red Cross Chapter opened a shelter and distributed personal hygiene items to those in need.
Parts of upstate New York and New England reported more than two feet of snow, freezing rain, sleet and high winds. Schools and businesses were closed and many were left without power. More than 50,000 homes were without power in New York and Vermont. In Connecticut, major flooding and mudslides washed away vehicles and parts of homes. The Connecticut Chapter in Farmington opened shelters and supported emergency operations in that area.
In Silver City, N.M, the Southwestern New Mexico Red Cross Chapter provided a safe place to stay overnight for 60 people when a wildfire destroyed as many as 15 homes and threatened more in this town in southwestern New Mexico.
The Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 200 disasters every day, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to people in need. The nation’s largest nonprofit humanitarian organization, the Red Cross also:
- Teaches millions of people lifesaving skills like first aid, CPR and water safety
- Provides a round-the-clock link between those in the military and their families wherever help is needed - along side the troops in military hospitals and war zones and on military installations worldwide and
- Supplies blood and blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
March has been proclaimed Red Cross Month by President Barack Obama. During March, people can join the Red Cross in its lifesaving mission by becoming a Red Cross volunteer, giving blood, making a donation, or taking a class. More information is available through the almost 650 Red Cross chapters serving more than 2,000 locations across the country, or by visiting www.redcross.org..