Nearly 800 American Red Cross workers from around the country - including nine volunteers from the L.A. Region - are currently on the ground in Texas helping impacted residents. On June 7, the State of Texas reported that 1,137,802 people were at immediate risk due to current river flooding.
The following volunteers who live in cities around the Southland are currently working in either Austin or Houston at 16 Red Cross shelters, providing meals, helping assess the damage, distributing relief supplies and offering other Red Cross services:
• Jeanne Woo, Torrance
• Melissa Harris, North Hills
• Pedro Orellana, Los Angeles
• Bob Bowker, Los Angeles
• Richard Poulin, Banning
• Michael Mardini, Los Angeles
• Emily Thomas, Altadena
• Henry Mills, Long Beach
• Jackie Bailey, Altadena
Jon Brown of Tarzana and Ken Dieball of Ridgecrest recently returned from an assignment in Houston.
On June 6, Gail McGovern, the CEO and president of the American Red Cross, flew to Houston to view the devastation first hand. “The people of Texas have been through so much already and this is the ninth major flood that’s happened in this area. We have had volunteers all over the state for 12 months now trying to help the people of Texas.” McGovern said the Red Cross has had 5,000 volunteers there to help over the year because of repeated flooding. “We’ve given over half a million items of relief, and we’re now bringing in truckloads of insect repellent,” McGovern stated.
As a result of the concern about the Zika virus, now the Red Cross will provide insect repellent along with food, shelter and counseling. Flooding is expected to continue over the next several days and the Red Cross is monitoring the ongoing threat of severe weather and setting up in areas that are likely to be hit by the next onslaught of bad weather. The Red Cross will also be distributing relief supplies and delivering meals to impacted neighborhoods as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Red Cross has sent 22 emergency response vehicles to help and six more are on the way to Texas to support the relief effort. Partners like the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Salvation Army are also supporting efforts to provide feeding in shelters and along mobile routes. Red Cross mental health workers are helping people cope, many of whom have been hit with flood damage more than once. Health workers are assisting with minor first aid needs and helping replace things like lost medications and eyeglasses. Red Cross caseworkers are meeting with families one-on-one to help them get the help they need.
Over the last year, the American Red Cross has helped tens of thousands of people across Texas impacted by relentless severe weather, flooding and tornadoes in more than 130 counties—many of which were struck multiple times. The Red Cross is asking for your support to give urgent help to people affected by this latest round of flooding. People can help by donating to Red Cross Texas Floods and Tornadoes by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Quote: “We have had Red Cross volunteers for 12 months now trying to help the people of Texas.”