As the rain continues to fall, the American Red Cross South Florida Region is helping people in Texas and Oklahoma impacted by the devastating flooding and tornadoes which hit the region over the last few days. Six of South Florida’s volunteers are aiding and helping to provide comfort and support in Texas and Oklahoma.
*Mary Armbrust has been an American Red Cross volunteer in South Florida since 2013 and has been deployed to approximately four disasters. She is a Disaster Action Team Captain, Logistics Manager, and Instructor for the Red Cross. She deployed to Houston Texas.
*Eric Crump has been an American Red Cross volunteer in South Florida since 2005 and has been deployed to approximately 16 disasters. He is Regional Mass Care Lead & Logistics for the Red Cross. He deployed to Austin Texas.
*John DiBattista has been an American Red Cross volunteer in South Florida since 2004 and has been deployed to over 25 disasters. He is Regional Bulk Distribution Lead for the Red Cross. He deployed to Oklahoma City.
*Luvenia Allen has been an American Red Cross volunteer in South Florida since 2005 and has been deployed to approximately 10 disasters. She is a volunteer Nurse the Red Cross. She deployed to Corpus Christi.
*Thomas Nahrstedt has been an American Red Cross volunteer in South Florida since 2010 and has been deployed to approximately 11 disasters. He is a volunteer Regional Disaster Mental Health Lead for the Red Cross. He deployed to Houston.
*Karen Davenport has been an American Red Cross volunteer in South Florida since 2015 and this will be her first deployment. She is a Disaster Action Team Member and Nurse for the Red Cross. She deployed to Corpus Christi.
More than 150 people spent Tuesday night in Red Cross shelters in the two states. Governors in both states declared disasters in more than 80 counties where the extreme weather destroyed or damaged thousands of homes. Thousands of homes are still without power, more than 50,000 in Texas alone.
Since early May, Red Cross workers have opened 35 shelters, served more than 28,000 meals and snacks, handed out 31,000 relief items and cleaning supplies. More than 800 Red Crossers have helped in Texas along with 23 emergency response vehicles. Additional volunteers and vehicles are on alert if needed.
“The Red Cross is expanding our relief efforts and mobilizing additional volunteers, vehicles, food and relief supplies to help the thousands of people impacted by these latest storms,” continued Reed. “We depend on financial donations to provide shelter and food, and we need the public’s help now. Our response in Texas alone is expected to cost more than $3 million.”
Texas has been under the gun of a powerful storm system since early May, suffering repeated and ongoing severe weather and torrential rains. The situation worsened over the holiday weekend as more flooding hit the state, including parts of major cities such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Wichita Falls.
OKLAHOMA The Red Cross has been helping people in parts of Oklahoma since tornadoes hit the state in early May. The relentless rain has led to flooding and spawned tornadoes. The Red Cross opened shelters and workers are providing meals and snacks and cleaning items to those affected. Additional flooding is predicted over the next several days and the Red Cross is monitoring the situation and working with local and state officials to determine what additional help may be needed.
Since early May, the Red Cross has opened 14 shelters providing more than 500 overnight stays, served more than 28,000 meals and snacks, and handed out nearly 18,000 relief items including cleaning supplies. In addition, more than 500 cases have been opened to provide one-on-one support to families and individuals in need of extra help to get back on their feet.
HOW TO HELP A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help provide food, water and shelter for someone who has to leave their home. Help people affected by disasters like floods, tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Learn what it’s like to be a Red Cross disaster volunteer. The American Red Cross is calling on community members to join the team to make sure the South Florida Region Red Cross is ready when a storm strikes. For the third consecutive year, Red Cross chapters are offering the free train in a day program for volunteers who are willing to help their community during disasters. For more information visit our website.