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Red Cross Workers Responding to Wildfires, Tropical Storms, Flooding

The American Red Cross provided food and shelter for more than 770 people around the country Tuesday night, including residents impacted by wildfires in Texas and those affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

In Texas, about 270 residents spent Tuesday night in Red Cross shelters as uncontained wildfires continued to destroy people’s homes. Red Cross disaster workers are also responding to the devastation left behind by Irene and Lee. More than 400 people were in shelters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Mississippi, Alabama and throughout New England, their neighborhoods damaged by the powerful storms.

The wildfires have scorched thousands of Texas acres and destroyed hundreds of homes. Red Cross workers are operating shelters and providing food and drinks for first responders and those who have to leave their homes.

The Red Cross is also continuing to help people impacted by Hurricane Irene. In Vermont, where hundreds stayed in shelters as Hurricane Irene stormed in, the Red Cross continues to operate shelters as workers also distribute food throughout affected neighborhoods, provide health and mental health consultations, damage assessment, and distribution of water, clean-up supplies and personal hygiene items.

In Massachusetts, volunteer Ivonne Cintron, a resident of Puerto Rico, is helping residents of Williamstown recover from Irene. An entire mobile home community was overcome in the New England town. When asked why she traveled hundreds of miles to volunteer, she said “We have to do it – it’s needed.” She is one of 1,100 Red Cross workers in New England helping people get back on their feet.

Responding to Hurricane Irene, the Red Cross has served millions of meals and snacks and provided approximately 59,000 overnight shelter stays since the storm made landfall on August 27. The Red Cross is also distributing supplies to help residents who are cleaning up homes damaged by Irene’s wind, rain and floods, including relief items such as hygiene kits, mops, brooms, tarps, work gloves and coolers.

The Red Cross currently has disaster relief operations active in more than a dozen states, and current estimates for Red Cross relief for Hurricane Irene alone are from $10 million to $15 million.

Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; you can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.