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Response in Texas: One Team Reaches Remote Homes

Response in Texas: One Team Reaches Remote Homes
Flooding creates unique response challenges in rural Texas

The Red Cross Response

After weeks of relentless severe weather, the American Red Cross continues to provide comfort and hope to thousands of Texans as they begin to recover. About 8,000 homes are affected and the Red Cross will be on the ground helping every step of the way.

The Red Cross estimates that we will spend more than $5 million (as of May 29) helping people hit by the severe weather in Texas. We haven’t raised nearly enough in donations to cover this cost – and our work is just beginning.

Overcoming Challenges to Deliver a Hot Meal and a Smile

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment you have survived a terrifying flood that tore through your home in the middle of the night. Now the flood waters have receded and the process of recovery begins. Drywall, appliances, floors, carpet, furniture – it all must be torn out and thrown away. There is humidity and mold. There are continuing severe storm outbreaks that bring more rain. This nightmare never seems to end. And, to make matters worse, your home has been cut off from your town and neighbors by a collapsed bridge.

On the other side of the river, a Red Cross volunteer vents her frustration that she has not been able to get her mobile feeding vehicle across the river to reach folks cut off by this disaster. “There are areas we haven’t been able to reach yet and it weighs heavily on all our minds,” said Mary Brown, a volunteer from Tucson, Arizona. “Those folks must have thought time forgot them.”

A little reassurance comes from the local sheriff who advises Brown and her response team that the road is now open for emergency vehicles such as hers and local residents who are trying to recover. Brown is assured that it is now safe to cross.

Damaged homes can be seen here and there from these narrow country roads and now the challenge reaching everyone. Where homes are clustered together, lots of volunteers and clean-up crews can be seen; the team stops and feeds everyone who is hungry. But how can teams reach other scattered homes in opposite directions? A plan is devised and the team splits up and hand-carries meals in, walking down the narrow road. Even the Red Cross photographer who has been following the team pitches in. With this kind of teamwork, the mission is completed.

“Sometimes we have to think outside the box to make it happen,” Brown explains. “These dirt roads are so narrow and overgrown with trees, that getting our feeding truck in safely would be near impossible. But we got it done! I’m happy with that. Teamwork and Red Cross ingenuity works every time!”

Red Cross Response

People all across the affected areas need your help. Please make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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