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Red Cross Urges WNY Residents to Prepare for Flooding

OKC family speaks with Red Cross volunteer

With a Flash Flood Warning in effect for parts of Erie County, and a Flood Watch in effect for much of the rest of Western New York, American Red Cross staff and volunteers are in contact with emergency officials across the region and are ready to respond to community needs.


Residents are urged to put together an emergency preparedness kit in case of evacuation, including:

·         At least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food

·         First Aid kit

·         Medications

·         Personal hygiene items

·         Copies of personal documents

·         Cell phone and chargers

·         Family and emergency contact information


If a flood warning is issued, residents should head for higher ground and stay there. Stay away from flood waters; six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep a person off their feet. Do not drive on flooded roads; most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. Download the free Red Cross Flood App from iTunes or Google Play for safety tips and real time weather warnings. Additional flood safety and emergency preparedness information is available at


HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN: Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers have responded to six separate fires across Western New York since Thursday, March 12, providing for the immediate emergency needs of 20 people. Red Cross assistance typically includes funding for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed. Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help the survivors deal with the emotional aspect of their disaster, and affected families will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan.


Volunteers responded to fires at the following dates and locations:

·         Thursday, March 12-Monroe St, Buffalo: One adult
Volunteers Emily Shafer and Nicole Roma

·         Thursday, March 12-Dalton, Allegany County: Two adults and five children

Volunteers Robert Shook, Jerome and Darcy Labaouche

·         Thursday, March 12-Jamestown: One adult and two children
Volunteer Jason Carmen

·         Saturday, March 14-Coit Street, Buffalo: One adult
Volunteers Diane Sargent and Betsy Crocker

·         Saturday, March 14-Attica: Four adults and two children
Volunteers Diane Sargent and Betsy Crocker

·         Sunday, March 15-Ashley Street, Buffalo: Two adults
Volunteers Diane Sargent and Betsy Crocker


The American Red Cross has launched an initiative to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the next five years. The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to install free smoke detectors in homes that need them. To schedule an installation, please contact PearlieMae Hargro at or 716-878-2356.


To support home fire survivors across the country, the American Red Cross has launched a new social media campaign called #GiveWhatFireTakes. Donors nationwide have the opportunity to support Red Cross relief efforts. For every amount raised, the Red Cross is able to provide not only recovery items for home fire survivors, but also critical fire safety training and smoke alarm installations to help prevent deaths and injuries. Visit our Crowdwise campaign page, make a direct donation on and share what moved you to join the campaign on social media with #GiveWhatFireTakes.


CITIZEN PREPAREDNESS CORPS: In partnership with New York State, the Red Cross is offering free Citizen Preparedness Corps Training. At each approximately one-hour session, a trained Red Cross representative will provide a comprehensive overview on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters, including home fires and flooding. Anyone attending an in-person session between now and the end of March will be entered into a drawing to win a free generator. To schedule a free training at your school, business or organization, please contact David Dodge at or 585-343-6098. A 15-minute online version of Citizen Preparedness Corp program is also available at  (select Red Cross from the referral dropdown menu).