Volunteers from the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties provided immediate emergency assistance for 19 people following four separate fires in less than 24 hours this weekend.
Members of the Disaster Action Team (DAT) were called to two storm-related fires in the early morning hours on Saturday, assisting a family of five after a tree fell on their Austin Street home in Buffalo and started a small fire, and assisting an elderly man after his Lackawanna trailer home was destroyed by fire. Before 3pm Saturday, DAT volunteers had responded to two calls in Niagara Falls, assisting three adults and a child after a fire on LaSalle Avenue in and seven adults and two children after a separate blaze on 5th Street. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as well as emotional support. Clients will then meet with caseworkers to begin working on a long-term recovery plan.
Meanwhile, volunteers opened a shelter at approximately 10:30am Saturday at North Tonawanda High School at the request of Emergency Management officials for residents flooded and left without power following Friday night’s storms. No clients sought assistance at the shelter before it was closed Saturday afternoon, but the Red Cross remained in contact with Emergency Management officials from across the region to assess needs throughout the weekend.
All Red Cross is assistance is free, and we rely on the generosity of the American public to provide these vital services to the community. Anyone wishing to help people affected by fires, flooding or other disasters is asked to consider donating to the Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, visiting www.redcross.org, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to charge a $10 donation to their cell phone bill.