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Assistance for Flood Victims Includes ‘Virtual’ Deployment

OKC family speaks with Red Cross volunteer

Two volunteers from the American Red Cross of Central New York are assisting flood victims in the south: one travelling tothe area while the other is on a virtual assignment.

Devastating flooding has forced thousands of people from their homes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Frank VanSickle of Cortland is assisting flood victims as part of a new virtual deployment program. Over the next two weeks, he will be working in the Cortland office as a call agent, conducting client interviews by phone to assess clients’ needs and to determine appropriate assistance. The information he gathers will be entered electronically for follow-up by caseworkers in the affected regions.

Meanwhile, Shelley Licurse of Manlius is being deployed to Louisiana to provide disaster mental health services, helping people cope in the aftermath of many challenging situations. She is the fourth volunteer from the Western and Central New York Region on location in the south. Robert Barton of Savannah is in Mississippi, while Sarah Perkins of Pittsford and Diane Sargent of Lockport traveled to Louisiana.

The Red Cross is opening shelters for those affected, providing meals and distributing relief supplies where it is safe todo so. Volunteers are also helping to replace needed items like prescription medications and eyeglasses. Since the flooding began, the Red Cross has provided 2,100 overnight stays in 56 shelters, served 36,500 meals and snacks,and distributed 15,400 relief items including comfort kits and cleaning supplies.

HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.