Even though the water usage ban has been lifted, the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio is continuing their efforts of water distribution to homebound individuals.
More than 320 volunteers are using Red Cross Emergency Response vehicles to coordinate relief efforts and deliver bottled water to the affected homes with the help of The U.S. Coast Guard. Distribution will continue until all people on the list have received water. To date, more than 53,808 bottles of water have been delivered by Red Cross and United Way 2-1-1 volunteers. In addition to bottles of water, disaster preparedness tips and information will also be dispersed in the coming days.
“It’s touching to see how our community has come together overnight to support our local seniors and those in need of help,” said Tim Yenrick, regional CEO for the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio. “We’d like to thank all of our wonderful partners including the local EMAs, Area Office on Aging, Mobile Meals, Salvation Army, United Way, and of course our volunteers who respond to disasters like this every day.”
Distribution sites supplied by local government and staffed by Red Cross volunteers closed at11:00 a.m. today. Water remaining at those sites have been moved to a storage facility and will continue to be distributed. Corporations such as Anheuser Busch, Ackley Trucking, WalMart, HTI, Lucas County Auditor’s Staff, National Wildlife Federation, the City of Fostoria, and Campbell’s Soup company have donated water, soup, and beverages for the vulnerable populations and community partners.
The American Red Cross cycle of response doesn’t end when the disaster is over. The Red Cross will continue to provide preparedness information to the general public including ways they can prepare for the next disaster and how they can recover from the current one.
The American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio responds to a disaster every 19 hours. The water crisis is an important reminder of the necessity of having a preparedness plan in place. People can visit redcross.org/prepare for a list of possible emergency situations and ways they can prepare their family in the event of a future disaster. This includes knowing what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in their community, having and practicing a family disaster plan, and building an emergency preparedness kit including (at minimum):
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Flashlight Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
People can also download free Red Cross apps on topics like first aid, tornadoes, or flooding to have emergency preparedness information at their fingertips. Download them at redcross.org/mobileapps.
The Red Cross is also encouraging businesses, schools, daycares, churches, and other organizations to join the Red Cross Ready Rating program to be prepared for the next disaster. Membership is free to the self-paced program where organizations complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness to reveal areas for improvement. Participants learn tips and best practices and also make a commitment to improve their readiness score. People can visit the tool and learn more at readyrating.org.
Red Cross volunteers are trained to respond to disasters such as this one. People can become a Red Cross volunteer to assist with future disasters by visiting redcross.org/volunteer or contacting their local Red Cross office.
All Red Cross disaster relief is provided free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the American people. You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by making a donation to the American Red Cross. You can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.
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 more information, please visit redcross.org/northwestohio like us on Facebook at American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio, or follow us on Twitter at @redcrossnwo.