The American Red Cross remains dedicated to providing help and support for people in South Carolina who have been impacted by October’s severe storms and historic flooding. Although floodwaters are receding in many locations, some of the hardest hit areas are still under several feet of water more than two weeks after the storm impacted the region. On Sunday night more than 140 people found a safe and dry place to sleep, food to eat, health services and emotional support in three Red Cross and community shelters in South Carolina.
The Red Cross is distributing meals and relief supplies both at central distribution sites and throughout affected communities via emergency response vehicles. Supplies being distributed include comfort kits containing personal hygiene items, as well as cleaning supplies such as tarps, flashlights, trash bags, shovels, rakes, bleach and work gloves.
Red Cross caseworkers are also meeting one-on-one with people out of Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and connect them with resources. In some situations, the Red Cross is providing direct financial support to people who need extra help. To date, the Red Cross hasprovided more than 5,500 health and mental health services for those in need; including for longtime Red Cross volunteer Eva Gadsen:
Eva Gadsen, 72, of Columbia, South Carolina, volunteered with the Red Cross a decade ago afterHurricane Katrina impacted New Orleans and surrounding areas. Now she is dealing with the massive flooding that destroyed her own home and placed her in a Red Cross shelter for five days.
“If it wasn’t for Red Cross, I really don’t know what would happen here,” she said.
Eva received help for her blood pressure, in addition to other assistance at a Red Cross shelter. Expecting to move in with one of her five children, Eva is looking ahead to starting over as the Columbia area starts its recovery.
Since the flooding began in South Carolina, the Red Cross has worked with community partners to:
• Serve more than 145,000 meals and snacks;
• Hand out more than 118,000 relief items and
• Open nearly 650 cases to help families impacted by the disaster.
The path to recovery for people impacted by this historic flooding will be long and challenging, but they won’t face it alone. The Red Cross and our government and community partners will ensure our friends andneighbors across the Carolinas have a helping hand, warm place to sleep and clear plan to get back on their feet and return to daily life in the weeks and months ahead.