The American Red Cross is putting volunteers and shelter locations on standby as the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for parts of Western New York Sunday through Wednesday morning. Rain and warmer temperatures predicted to begin melting the lake effect snow that fell earlier this week. 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
· 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 http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood.
65 people spent Friday night in shelters operated by American Red Cross volunteers at Iroquois Middle School, 211 Girdle Road, Elma and Goodell Fire Hall, 12847 Erie Street, Irving. The Red Cross also continues to support lake effect storm relief operations being run by other organizations, including providing food, water, blankets and cots at Erie Community College North Campus to support visiting firefighters.
Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers continue to respond to fires across Western New York as the winter storm emergency continues. Volunteer Mary Walker responded to the scene on Oak Street in Silver Creek early Saturday morning to help six adults and one child. Beth Shook and Leah Vooys provided food and clothing for two people after a fire on State Route 305 in Cuba, NY on Friday night. Volunteers Phil Baker and Jeanie Shiffer have provided food, clothing and temporary housing for eight people on Pendergast Avenue in Jamestown after a fire on Thursday, and Paul and Mercedes Catherine assisted one person after a fire on Center Street in Niagara Falls Thursday.
The American Red Cross relies upon volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For information on becoming a Red Cross volunteer, please visit http://www.redcross.org/ny/buffalo/volunteer. Anyone wishing to help people affected by winter storms, house fires and other disasters is asked to consider donating to the Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, visiting www.redcross.org, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to charge a $10 donation to their cell phone bill.