American Red Cross volunteers Diane Sargent of Lockport and Susan Peek of Buffalo will be deploying Friday morning for Tampa, Florida, where they will assist in the Red Cross relief efforts following Tropical Storm Debby. Both Sargent and Peek will be available to talk to the media prior to their deployment at American Red Cross Headquarters, 786 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, at 9:15am Friday morning. Sargent and Peek will both be doing damage assessment throughout the affected areas, and their deployment is expected to last approximately two weeks.
More than 200 Red Cross disaster workers are currently on the ground in Florida, where 10 shelters remained open Wednesday night due to heavy flooding from Tropical Depression Debby, which has dumped as much as ten inches of rain on most of the state, with some areas getting up to 25 inches of rain. Truckloads of additional relief supplies are on the way to Florida, and 20 response vehicles are currently supporting relief efforts by providing safe shelter, warm meals and distributing relief supplies like flashlights, work gloves, rakes, shovels and tarps.
Meanwhile, thirteen Red Cross shelters were open Wednesday night in Colorado, Utah and Montana, and the Red Cross is providing shelter, meals and emotional support to evacuated residents as wildfires continue to burn. Since June 9th, the Red Cross has served more than 33,000 meals and snacks, provided 3,600 health and mental health contacts, and handed out 4,900 relief items in Colorado alone. Volunteer Beth Shook from the Southwestern New York Chapter deployed to join the 350 trained Red Cross disaster workers supporting reilief efforts there, and it is expected that additional volunteers from the Western New York area may be deploying soon.
Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.