Joy Squier | Chief Communications Officer
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Most Deadly and Devastating Hurricane Forecast to Strike U.S. in Over a Decade
Red Cross Deploying Local Volunteers to Massive Relief Effort for Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana
Red Cross Offers Critical Flood Safety Steps as Storm Nears Land;
Urges Gulf Coast Residents to Heed Evacuation Orders
(CHICAGO, IL) August 25, 2017 — As Hurricane Harvey nears land, the American Red Cross is mounting a massive relief effort ahead of the most deadly and devastating hurricane forecast to strike the United States in over a decade.
Hurricane Harvey will make landfall tonight along the Texas Gulf Coast with over 100 mph winds and up to 35 inches of rain, leading to devastating and life-threatening flooding. Tornadoes are also possible. The storm is expected to hover over parts of Texas and Louisiana for several days
Evacuation orders are in effect throughout parts of the two states. More than 90 people spent Thursday night in 7 Red Cross shelters and nearly 50 additional shelters are ready to open and support thousands of people if needed. People in the path of this storm should stay informed and immediately heed any evacuation orders underway from local officials.
LOCAL VOLUNTEERS DEPLOYED
· James Connelly, 78, a disaster services instructor, is heading to Texas to manage shelters for people being evacuated from their homes. Connelly trains other volunteers in the Chicago region how to operate shelters and drive emergency response vehicles. A long-time volunteer, this will be Connelly’s 24th deployment.
· More local volunteers including Emergency Response Vehicle drivers will be deployed in the coming days as this is only the beginning of the storm and need for disaster relief.
“This is a dangerous storm and the next few days are going to challenge everyone along the Gulf Coast. This is the time for folks to come together to support one another,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “The Red Cross is launching the largest hurricane relief effort in years, and with the help of our partners, we are ready to shelter thousands of people.”
The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies including cots and blankets—enough to support more than 20,000 people—are arriving in Texas today. More than 40 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated with more on alert. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in both Texas and Louisiana to coordinate potential response efforts.
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by disasters by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
People can find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. People should also follow these safety steps:
During the storm:
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at redcross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.