ANCHORAGE, AUGUST 28, 2017 — The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the Gulf Coast to help the many people whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm Harvey.
Thousands of people have been forced to leave their flooded homes, losing everything they own – and more rain and flooding is expected throughout the week. It is anticipated that many more families will be impacted.
Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from all over the country are on the ground, working to provide safe shelter and comfort to people impacted by this devastating storm. Here in Alaska, The Red Cross has already deployed one Red Cross volunteer from Anchorage to Houston, with two more scheduled to leave from Anchorage Monday night and arrive in Austin early Tuesday morning. A fourth volunteer from Fairbanks is also slated to depart for Austin by Tuesday.
“Our hearts go out to the people affected by this catastrophic disaster in Texas,” said Tanguy Libbrecht, Red Cross of Alaska CEO.
“We know this is a challenging and emotional time, and the American Red Cross is working to get help to where it is needed most. Here in Alaska we have four volunteers who are in Texas, or on the way and we are expecting to send more as we establish where assistance is most needed. We’re thankful for the dedication of volunteers who are willing to help those in need.”
If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, you can visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. This would allow you to not only help on large disasters like Hurricane Harvey, but also when smaller disasters like home fires happen in your community.
The Red Cross of Alaska estimates it will take approximately two weeks to process volunteer applications, complete background checks, complete Red Cross training, and get new volunteers ready to deploy to Texas. The recovery process will continue for months, and there will be opportunities for everyone who qualifies to deploy with the Red Cross.
“To put things into perspective, we deployed about 200 volunteers to Hurricane Katrina,” said Libbrecht. “We are preparing for a volunteer response that could exceed Katrina.”
We know Alaskans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting file:///C:/Users/lisa.miller6/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/D3KS0DTI/redcross.org/Alaska">redcross.org/Alaska, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
Search for Loved Ones
Concerned family and friends can search file:///C:/Users/lisa.miller6/Desktop/RedCross.org/SafeAndWell">RedCross.org/SafeAndWell for those who have registered themselves as “safe and well.” The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and a brief message.
About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In FY17, the American Red Cross of Alaska offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 949 Alaskans. We responded to 305 disasters. Our preparedness / Health and Safety teams installed 2,311 smoke alarms statewide and educated 1,884 youth through our Pillowcase Project. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 957 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel 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/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.
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