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Red Cross Continues to Help One Year After Colorado Floods

Colorado Floods One Year Later
We’re still helping people with their ‘right now’ needs...But we’re also investing in the future.

One year after historic floods affected a third of Colorado’s counties, the American Red Cross continues to help individuals and communities affected by the 2013 floods.

“We’re still helping people with their ‘right now’ needs like water, help settling into permanent housing, and tools and funding for clean-up and rebuilding projects. But we’re also investing in the future, helping these communities out with resources and training that will make them more resilient in the face of future emergencies,” said Sabrina Amon, Recovery Manager for the Red Cross of Colorado.

A Massive Response

Since the floods occurred in September 2013, the Red Cross has helped thousands of people in an ongoing response that has included:

  • Opening 20 shelters that provided more than 3,800 overnight stays
  • Serving more than 204,000 meals and snacks in collaboration with local partners like The Salvation Army
  • Handing out nearly 250,000 relief items including work gloves, masks, hand warmers, tarps, trash bags, duct tape, comfort kits, blankets, and storage containers
  • Providing 15,000 health and mental health services
  • Helping more than 3,000 people with emergency or recovery related needs through casework
  • Supporting dozens of community clean-up and rebuilding efforts through a combination of funding, resources and volunteer time.
  • Ongoing Support – Individual Assistance and Community Projects

    Recovery from a disaster of this magnitude can take several years. Today, Red Cross recovery experts are focused on working with grassroots community groups and local agencies to identify and fill gaps that would otherwise not be met. This includes assistance for individuals and families as well as support for community-based long-term recovery efforts.

    For example, we have provided gas cards to help residents out with the increased cost of travel that they incurred due to road closures or having to relocate; other help might include assistance for temporary storage, first month’s rent or deposit, mold remediation, basic furniture – the sorts of things that will make it easier for displaced residents to move into a more permanent post-flood home.

    Are you a flood-affected resident still in need of help? Find out how to access resources: http://www.coloradoredcross.blogspot.com/2014/09/affected-by-2013-floods-red-cross-help.html

    Meanwhile, the Red Cross is also working behind the scenes to support long-term recovery efforts being spearheaded by community leaders and groups like the InterMountain Alliance. Examples of Red Cross recovery projects include:

  • Provided water cisterns and regular bottled water deliveries to Jamestown, where infrastructure damage left residents without potable water for many months.
  • Funded a mobile bridge that will enable volunteer groups to access otherwise cut-off properties in the Glen Haven area.
  • Supported various local volunteer days and community clean-up projects through snacks, water, hygiene items, tools, storage and more.
  • Helped enable clean-up and rebuilding projects by paying for gas and maintenance for heavy machinery.
  • Building Back Stronger and More Resilient

    In addition to helping communities and families recover from the floods, the Red Cross is investing in efforts that strengthen their disaster preparedness and resiliency in the face of future emergencies.

    In September and early October, Red Cross CPR instructors will provide CPR and first aid training for professional rescuers as well as ordinary residents in Ward, Estes Park, Nederland and Lyons. Representatives of those communities identified lifesaving training as a need for their residents because their communities can become cut off by wildfire or flood, leaving them isolated from emergency medical services; the training will help empower local residents to save lives during emergencies.

    Also this fall, the Red Cross will provide radio/communications equipment to shore up the emergency communications capabilities of towns like Gold Hill, Big Elk and Pinewood - allowing them to purchase and install radios, pagers, repeaters and other equipment vital for communicating during disasters, when traditional communications infrastructure may be down or hindered.

    Commemorating the Strength of Communities

    The 2013 floods had an enormous and far-reaching impact on countless Colorado residents. In commemoration of the anniversary of the floods, the Red Cross is providing funding, staffing water stations and participating in a number of Colorado United Day of Service events on Sept. 13 to celebrate the strength and resiliency of affected communities.

    Read more about the many ways your donations have enabled the Red Cross to help flood-affected communities by visiting our blog or reading the 2013 Colorado Floods One-Year Report.

    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/colorado, or join our blog at http://coloradoredcross.blogspot.com.