American Red Cross disaster responders in northeast Iowa are helping those dealing with flooding in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Emergency management contacted the Red Cross on Wednesday morning for assistance in the communities of Freeport, Fort Atkinson and Spillville. Red Cross volunteers are making sure those affected have clean-up supplies such as bleach, mops and gloves, water and support with other immediate needs like safe shelter, food, clothing and emotional support.
Those needing assistance can call the Red Cross at (563) 583-6451. The Red Cross will also be available at Stone Ridge Church (1111 Montgomery St., Decorah) and the Fort Atkinson Community Center (303 3rd St NW, Fort Atkinson.)
STAY SAFE As residents begin to clean up, the Red Cross encourages people to remember the following safety tips:
- Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
- Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
- Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
- Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
- If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
- If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
- Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
- Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
- During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
- Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula!
HOW YOU CAN HELP All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. Help people affected by disasters like floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER To join us, visit redcross.org today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App now to be ready in case of a disaster in their community. They can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to connect with their loved ones. The Emergency App can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.
For more updates, follow the Iowa Region of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @GreaterIA_ARC. You can also contact the Northeast Iowa Chapter at (563) 583-6451 or 1-800-REDCROSS.