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Sept. 14 NM Floods Shelter Residents go Home

Albuquerque, NM - Residents of multiple American Red Cross shelters across New Mexico got some good news Friday night and Saturday morning, they can return to their homes.

Emergency management officials say the flood waters are receding and things are looking up in many areas of the state. Rahim Balsara, Regional CEO of The American Red Cross in New Mexico said today “the Red Cross provides safe shelter, food, emergency relief, emotional support and health services to people in need after a disaster.”

Balsara added that “recovery from flooding is a marathon, not a sprint and now the hard work begins.”

Red Cross Damage Assessment teams are deploying throughout the state. Critical items for clean up like shovels, gloves and cleanup kits are also being distributed. The Red Cross will also distribute water and comfort kits and is in the process of organizing mobile feeding if needed.

“The Red Cross is here for the people of New Mexico and will continue to support the communities until the disaster caused needs are met,” said Balsara.

The American Red Cross is continuing to support communities throughout New Mexico after the recent record breaking rain. As immediate evacuation and sheltering activities begin to wind down, the road to recovery begins. At this time, it’s critical to follow the instructions provided by local emergency workers. There are still many unseen dangers so the Red Cross recommends the following:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • The American Red Cross is currently assessing needs with our tribal partners, pueblos and communities throughout the state including Sandoval County, Eddy County, Doña Ana County, Sierra County, San Juan County, Valencia County, Rio Arriba County and Cibola County.
  • Red Cross material and human resources are deployed throughout the state. More resources are on standby as we receive more reports of evacuations due to flooding.
  • This is our initial phase of response. We anticipate we will be assisting families as they recover from this disaster in the weeks to come.
  • Even though the rain may stop, the Red Cross reminds everyone not to cross flowing water on roadways to “Turn Around-Don’t Drown.” If thunder roars-go indoors. Helpful Red Cross smart phone apps can be downloaded from Google Play and the iStore. Look for first aid, tornado, wildfire and earthquake.
  • The Red Cross continues to work with emergency management officials to monitor the weather in case the situation changes.
  • Donations to Local Disaster Relief may be made on line at redcross.org/newmexico or by calling 1-800REDCROSS or The American Red Cross at 505 265 8514 during business hours.

    The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. To help the Red Cross continue to save lives, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-560-2302. Contributions to the Local Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Mexico by mail: American Red Cross in New Mexico, 7445 Pan American West Fwy. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 or made online atwww.redcross.org/newmexico. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or visit us on Twitter @RedCross.

    Media Contact: Beverly L. Allen, Communications Coordinator, (505) 220 3097