In response to this week’s heavy downpours and flash flooding, the local Red Cross continues to provide immediate assistance to disaster victims throughout Armstrong, Westmoreland and Indiana counties.
As part of its flood relief efforts, the local Red Cross has mobilized 13 teams to perform damage assessment in hard-hit areas throughout Indiana, Westmoreland and Armstrong counties. To date, the organization has provided food, clothing and shelter to ten adults and 15 children as well as distributed nearly 600 clean-up kits to local township and borough buildings.
Affected residents are urged to pick up relief supplies at the following locations:
•Avonmore Borough Building, 619 Allegheny Avenue in Avonmore
•Derry Township Building, 5321 Rt 982 in Derry
•Latrobe Municipal Building, 901 Jefferson Street in Latrobe
•Allegheny Township Building, 136 Community Building Road in Leechburg
•Unity Township Building,154 Beatty County Road in Latrobe
•Loyalhanna Township Building, 820 2nd Street in Saltsburg
•Ford City Township Building, 1000 4th Avenue & 10th Street in Ford City
•Cadogan Township Building, 333 1st Avenue in Cadogan
•Kiski Township Building, 1222A Old State Road in Apollo
•Local Red Cross Office, 245 Butler Road, Suite 4 in Kittanning
•Local Red Cross Office, 610 Kolter Drive in Indiana
In the coming days, the organization will be working with local government officials, partners and other human services agencies to coordinate service delivery and meet all immediate, disaster-caused needs in the area. Impacted residents who are in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the local Red Cross office in Greensburg at 724-834-6510 or the office in Indiana at 724-465-5678.
The Red Cross encourages individuals to be cautious around flooded areas and urges residents to avoid driving through flood waters. The organization also offers the below safety tips for families to keep in mind now and as clean-up efforts continue.
Responding Appropriately During a Flood
•Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
•Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
•When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
•Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
•If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
•Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
•Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
•Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Flood Recovery Tips
•Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
•Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
•Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
•Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
•If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
•If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
•Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
•Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
•During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
•Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
•Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.