FAIRFAX, VA. Monday, March 23, 2016— Hundreds of American Red Cross disaster workers are responding across the south where devastating flooding has forced thousands of people from their homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas.
“We need the public’s support now,” said Linda Mathes, CEO of the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region. “Entire families have lost their homes and everything they own to these floodwaters. The Red Cross depends on the continued support of the public to help people affected by this disaster and other emergencies big and small.”
Local volunteers deploying to northern Mississippi:
* From Haymarket in Prince William County, VA, volunteer Roger Blinn, seen here, deployed to assist with disaster technology services as a Computer Operations Supervisor. In the National Capital Region, Blinn assists in multiple roles, including working on the Prince William Disaster Action Team as an emergency response vehicle driver, dispatcher, client caseworker and government liaison. He has also previously deployed with the American Red Cross on many other national disaster relief operations.
* Also from Haymarket, volunteer Manny Zuniga deployed as a Service Associate on the information and planning team handling financial and statistical information. Zuniga has also previously deployed on many other disaster relief operations with the American Red Cross.
* From Fairfax, VA, volunteer Linda Kline is on her first deployment as a Service Associate to assist with mass care and sheltering of displaced residents. In the National Capital Region, Kline aids the Fairfax Disaster Action Team.
HOW TO HELP: Entire families have lost their homes and everything they own in this flooding. Some areas are still inaccessible and the preliminary reports of approximately 2,800 homes destroyed or severely damaged across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas could rise. The Red Cross response is just beginning. We will be there in the coming weeks as we help those affected begin to recover from the flooding.
Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding and countless other crises can make a donation 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.
RED CROSS RESPONSE The Red Cross continues to operate shelters and provide meals for those affected. Red Cross disaster mental health workers are helping people cope in the aftermath of many challenging situations. Disaster health volunteers are also helping to replace needed items like prescription medications and eyeglasses. In some areas, multi-agency resource centers are available where representatives of various local agencies can assist impacted residents in the coming days with information, basic needs and referrals to programs and services.
Red Cross caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from other agencies. In some situations, the Red Cross may provide direct financial support to people who need extra help.
As of March 22, more than 1,400 Red Cross workers have provided 3,800 overnight stays in 60 shelters, served 158,000 meals and snacks, and distributed 64,000 relief items including comfort kits and cleaning supplies since the flooding began.
“The Red Cross is helping people right now with emergency needs such as shelter and meals and caseworkers are helping those affected with recovery planning,” Mathes said. “We will continue to support them in the weeks to come as they begin to plan their next steps.”
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/dc or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNCR.