The American Red Cross is on the ground helping across four states where thousands of people have been forced from their homes by floodwaters, many leaving with little but the clothes on their backs. Preliminary reports indicate that more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged across Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas.
Volunteer Robert Barton of Savannah, Wayne County, is traveling to Mississippi where he will work in disaster assessment. Teams of volunteers are visiting affected areas to assess the damage and help determine what types of assistance are needed. He served a similar function last fall in South Carolina.
Barton is the third volunteer from the Western and Central New York Region deployed to the flooded areas. Sarah Perkins ofPittsford and Diane Sargent of Lockport are in Louisiana to assist in relief efforts there. Hundreds of Red Cross workers are operating shelters and providing meals, relief supplies and health and mental health services. In many areas, roads and bridges are closed and thousands have been left without power. All four states are expected to see major flood crests through the week and the Red Cross is coordinating closely with state and local officials to ensure people get the help they need.
“Entire families, young and old alike, have lost their homes and everything they own in this flooding. We are providing shelter and food right now, and we’ll continue to support anyone in need as the water recedes and they begin to plan their next steps,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “Our work is really just beginning, and we need financial support from the public to continue helping residents recover from this devastating situation.”
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding and countless other crises can make adonation 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.