In response to the historic and unprecedented flooding in the southeastern United States, the American Red Cross is providing safe shelter and support across the Carolinas where the flooding has destroyed homes, forced evacuations and left thousands without water or power.
Over the weekend, Red Cross workers opened 35 shelters in North and South Carolina – 30 in South Carolina alone – where more than 200 people spent Sunday night. The Red Cross has mobilized nearly 400 Red Cross workers, 22 emergency response vehicles and shelter supplies to support 5,000 people in South Carolina. Additional rain and flooding are expected over the next few days, and the Red Cross has more supplies and disaster workers standing ready if needed. For the latest news updates, you can follow @RedCrossSC on Twitter.
“Anyone who needs a warm, safe place to stay and a hot meal is welcome at any of our shelters,” said Louise Welch Williams, chief executive officer, Red Cross of the Palmetto South Carolina Region. “We have additional shelters across the state on standby and are working closely with our government partners to ensure people’s immediate needs are being met.”
Download Emergency App
People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to get emergency alerts, find out where shelters are and have flooding safety information immediately available. The Emergency App can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download the Red Cross Monster Guard App to teach children what to do in case of a flood or other disaster.
How to Help
“People from across the country are looking to the Red Cross for help, and our volunteers are on the frontlines providing shelter, food, comfort and hope,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the Red Cross. “We depend on generous financial donations to provide assistance, and we need your help now.”
People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to support disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter.
Give Blood Now
The severe flooding has forced the cancellation of about 30 Red Cross blood drives in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia through Monday, causing about 650 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. As flooded roadways and power outages continue, additional blood drives may be cancelled in the coming days.
The Red Cross moved blood products into the region to ensure blood would be available in the event of widespread flooding. In South Carolina, there some challenges transporting blood to hospitals with hundreds of road closures across the state. The Red Cross’ priority is to deliver emergency products and transport routine requests as conditions allow.
All eligible donors in parts of the country unaffected by flooding are encouraged to call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment to give blood.