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Red Cross Assisting Storm Victims in Western NC; Remains on Standby to Open Shelters if Needed

Red Cross Assisting Storm Victims in Western NC

Photo: Polk County, N.C., May 21, 2018 - Dee Besecker, volunteer with the American Red Cross, conducts disaster assessment in areas of Western NC affected by heavy rains, floods, and mudslides. The Red Cross is providing hot meals, clean-up kits, and additional disaster assistance to families impacted by heavy storms over the weekend.

Polk County, N.C., May 21, 2018 – With the rain subsiding in North Carolina, many residents are starting to return home and begin cleanup efforts. But the threat isn't over yet. The American Red Cross is providing assistance to families impacted by the recent storms and remains on standby to spring into action should forecasted rain cause conditions to further deteriorate.

“The Red Cross has a number of resources available to assist families after a disaster,” said Alli Trask, executive director for the Red Cross serving Western North Carolina. “If your home was damaged in the storm, please come see us for help.”

Today volunteers from the Red Cross will be in neighborhoods conducting damage assessment in the neighborhoods that suffered damage during the recent storms. For families affected by the storms, the Red Cross will be providing hot meals, supplies, and additional assistance this week.

Red Cross Assistance

Harmon Field

117 Harmon Field Road

Tryon, NC 28782

Tryon Youth Center

2969 US-176

Tryon, NC 28782

Tuesday, May 22 – Friday, May 29

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Enjoy a Hot Meal

Tonight, Monday, May 21, the Red Cross will begin serving hot meals at 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. and continue to serve lunch and dinner through Friday. Lunch will be available 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. and dinner will be served 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m..

Pickup Clean-Up Supplies

The Red Cross will be handing out free clean-up kits to help families begin the process of cleaning up from the storms. Clean-up kits include mops, scrub brushes, shovels, and cleaning chemicals and other items that will help residents their homes upon return from a disaster. Tarps will also be available for residents who need to cover damaged portions of their homes.

Additional Assistance

In addition, residents affected by the storm are encouraged to visit Harmon Field or the Tryon Youth Center and speak with a Red Cross representative about how the Red Cross can help meet their needs in recovering from the storm's damage. Red Cross caseworkers will be on hand to meet with families and discuss their options for assistance, including providing assistance in replacing lost medications.

Returning Home

"Please be careful when returning home and take time to monitor your own health while cleaning up from the storms. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and take breaks to eat," said Trask. “Continue to maintain awareness of the weather as more rain is forecasted to fall this week and be prepared to seek shelter if conditions change.”

The Red Cross offers these tips for families returning home:

1. Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.

2. Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.

3. 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.

4. During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

5. 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!

It’s also good idea to download the free Red Cross Emergency App to get emergency alerts, find out where shelters are and have flooding safety information immediately available. The app can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to Download the Red Cross Monster Guard App to teach children what to do in case of a flood or other disaster. Additional flood safety information is available here, including more tips on returning home.


The Red Cross mission is delivered through the commitment and passion of its volunteers. Whether you have 4 hours a month or 4 hours a day, there’s a place for you. If interested in joining the Red Cross, discover the possibilities at

The Red Cross is able to deploy resources where needed, and to provide services here at home thanks to the generosity of our donors. Anyone wishing to help the Red Cross provide assistance to people impacted by disasters such as tornadoes, floods or home fires may donate at, by calling 800-RED-CROSS or by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members 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 additional information, visit