The American Red Cross is providing help such as shelter, food, water and comfort to people affected by severe flooding in this part of the country while continuing to respond to the explosion in Texas and the Boston marathon bombing.
The American Red Cross is in constant communication with local emergency management officials to determine the needs of the community in response to area flooding. The Red Cross has identified shelter locations and will open shelters if requested by emergency officials.
At the time, there are two shelters open in the region:
“We are responding to the devastating flooding in this part of the country where flood waters have inundated communities across several states,” said Betsy Pratt, Regional Chief Executive Officer. “Meanwhile we are still helping people affected by the tragic events in Boston and Texas and will continue to help those in need.”
More than 270 people spent Thursday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin where flooding has caused heavy damage. Thousands are without power and homes and roadways flooded after heavy rainfall in the region. The Red Cross has additional volunteers, shelters and supplies on standby to support people forced from their homes by flood waters and we will be providing help for days to come.
FLOOD SAFETY The Red Cross has steps for someone to follow if their community is affected by flooding:
BOSTON, TEXAS Meanwhile, in Boston, the Red Cross is providing food, water and comfort to people including first responders and those being evacuated during the situation there today. More than 200 Red Cross Disaster workers have served more than 10,000 meals and snacks, handed out hundreds of relief items like blankets and comfort kits and provided hundreds of mental health and health services to those in need. Red Cross Blood Services has provided about 550 blood products to several hospitals in the Boston area. In West, Texas, Red Cross disaster workers are providing emotional support, health services and distributing relief items to those affected by the explosion. Red Cross Blood Services has shipped 175 blood products to hospitals in the region.
HOW TO HELP The Red Cross is helping people across a large region of the country affected by these disasters. If someone would like to help they can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit www.onefundboston.org.
Right now the Red Cross has enough blood on hand to help patients in Texas and Boston. However, patients need blood every day and those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org.
STEPS TO HELP COPE This has been a difficult week for people all across the country with horrifying events, dramatic and emotional news reports and severe weather happening across the country. In these times, it’s important for people to connect with and support each other and do something that makes them feel prepared for future disasters.
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 Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
Getting oneself and one’s loved ones 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.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.