While the American Red Cross prepares and responds to extensive flooding in the Midwest and nearby states, the Red Cross continues to deliver comfort and support in Texas and Massachusetts communities.
The Red Cross is providing food, supplies, emotional support and health services in flooded communities in the Midwest and supporting sandbagging operations in nearby states that are preparing for flooding. With hundreds of volunteers on the ground, the Red Cross has served more than 43,000 meals and snacks and handed out more than 7,000 relief items to date.
Flooding Response in Illinois and Michigan
Last night 10 shelters were open in Illinois and Michigan with more than 100 people in need of a safe haven.
In Spring Bay, Illinois, Joe and Pam Greer could only get to their home by raft as it floodwaters had surrounded it. In their hour of need, the Greer’s sought refuge at a shelter run by the Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter down the street from their home at River’s Edge Methodist Church.
“The Red Cross is always here to support us in times like this,” said Pam Greer.
According to Joe Greer, this is not the first time the Red Cross has assisted this community and he doubts this will be the last.
“We have always supported the Red Cross and they’ve always supported our community,” he commented.
As the flooding recedes, Red Cross emergency response vehicles will distribute snacks, water, and clean-up kits to flood victims in some communities. Kits include mops, scrub brushes, shovels, and cleaning chemicals along with other items that will help people once they are able to return to their homes. Disaster mental health volunteers will also be providing emotional assistance to flood victims.
Sandbagging Operations in Minnesota and North Dakota
Along the Red River in Minnesota and North Dakota, the Red Cross is supporting sandbagging efforts by providing water and snacks as the community prepares for spring flooding. Sandbagging operations are currently underway in Fargo, N.D. as well as Halstad and Shelley, Minn.
“We are prepared and ready to assist all communities throughout the Red River Valley as needs arise,” said Red Cross Regional CEO Judy Green. “Supplies, volunteers, and staff are on-call 24 hours a day.”
There will also has a team of mental health professionals on duty to assist those struggling with flood concerns and contingency plans are in place for sheltering should a need arise.
Continued Support in Massachusetts and Texas
Even as the Red Cross responds to Midwest floods, Red Cross workers continue to assist people affected by the tragic explosions in West, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.
In Texas, the Red Cross is providing emotional support, tissues, water and snacks to emergency responders attending today’s memorial service at Baylor University. In the days to come, Red Cross caseworkers will be meeting one-on-one with those affected to provide access to tools and resources to help people move forward.
As people are allowed to return home in Texas, the Red Cross is also opening emergency aid stations in the neighborhoods to provide food, water, emotional support, health services and relief supplies. To date, the Red Cross has served approximately 9,300 meals and snacks, handed out nearly 10,000 relief items, and provided 1,400 emotional support and health contacts.
In Boston, life is slowly returning to normal for most residents. However, the Red Cross continues to support a family assistance center in coordination with local officials and provide emotional support to the community as they recover from the marathon bombings. Since the Boston bombings, more than 300 Red Cross workers have served approximately 43,000 meals and snacks, handed out 3,000 relief items like blankets and comfort kits, and provided 3,100 mental health and health services.
Help the Red Cross Respond
Over the past 10 years, the Red Cross has launched 127 large relief operations to help people affected by floods in 38 states. Floods can be especially long and costly relief operations as communities wait for floodwaters to recede before they can begin cleaning up their homes and neighborhoods. If someone would like to help people affected by these and other disasters, they can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
There is enough blood available now to help patients in Texas and Boston. Those who are eligible to give blood are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation time in the days and weeks ahead. To schedule a blood donation, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit www.onefundboston.org.