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Red Cross Response to Threats of Flooding

Red Cross volunteer comforting little girl in a shelter

 (CHARLOTTE, N.C. – May 19, 2018) – Rain continues throughout much of the region, and storm-related response by the American Red Cross continues.

In partnership with Polk County officials, the American Red Cross will reopen the shelter in Columbus for people impacted by flooding and travel.



Polk County High School

1681 NC 108 Hwy. East

Columbus, NC 28722

The shelter in Caldwell County remains open at Gamewell Middle School, 3210 Gamewell School Road, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Shelters in McDowell County and Watauga County remain on standby.

“We are staging equipment and supplies and have more volunteers on standby so they may be ready to be deployed as needed, where needed,” said Angela A. Broome Powley, regional executive officer, American Red Cross Western North Carolina Region. “Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere,” said “Please follow your local weather channel and follow instructions of your local emergency management officials.”


Staying Safe Indoors

  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
  • Boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.
  • Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water .
  • Staying Safe Outdoors

  • Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Don't walk on beaches or riverbanks.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
  • For additional safety information, please visit

    The Red Cross encourages anyone coming to a shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself

    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.