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Red Cross Workers Respond to Blizzards, Wildfires and Flooding

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Volunteers from Hawaii and across the nation spend their Spring Break and Easter holiday helping

Thousands of people across five states are facing blizzards, wildfires and floods, with more than 1,100 American Red Cross disaster workers on the ground providing emergency services to support those affected.

A spate of spring storms left over 515 people on Wednesday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Weather experts say more snow and rain is expected in the affected areas, along with additional critical wildfire conditions, over the next several days.

A total of four Hawaii Red Cross volunteers have been deployed so far to support the Red Cross response to the devastating Southern floods:  an Oahu volunteer is assisting with Information Planning and Development in Louisiana; another Oahu volunteer is assisting with Health Services in Texas; a Maui volunteer is assisting with Disaster Mental Health Services in Mississippi; and a Molokai volunteer is assisting with Disaster Mental Health Services in Louisiana. 

Red Cross workers across the nation are even providing casework services virtually to those suffering from the severe flooding.  Within 4 hours of recognizing a need for more caseworkers, over 35 Red Cross workers were virtually mobilized to assist in the response.

“The commitment and dedication of our Red Cross volunteers is remarkable,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawaii Red Cross.  “It is inspiring to see volunteers answer the call for help, hope and relief to disaster victims, even if it means traveling across the county, away from their family and friends during their Easter holiday or Spring Break.”

Since March 8, Red Cross volunteers have been working alongside community partners to provide 4,200 overnight stays in 60 shelters; serve 194,000 meals and snacks; and distribute 80,000 relief items including comfort kits and cleaning supplies to help people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas impacted by floods.

Meanwhile in Colorado, heavy snow led to blizzard conditions and hundreds of stranded motorists spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters where they had a warm place to sleep and food to eat. 

Additionally, wildfires are burning in Kansas and Texas, where several communities are being threatened with evacuations. The Red Cross is closely monitoring these disasters to ensure people get the help they need, and Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock to provide support, care, and comfort to thousands of those affected.

HOW TO HELP

The Red Cross needs the public to help support the families suffering from disasters right now.  Anyone who wants to help people affected by disasters like flooding, wildfires and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.