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Red Cross Providing Help and Hope to Austin Flood Survivors

AUSTIN, TEXAS, Sunday, November 3, 2013 — The American Red Cross of Central Texas is working around the clock to help families affected by the Halloween floods with food, shelter, clean-up supplies and comfort. Red Cross disaster workers will continue conducting damage assessment this week, while also working closely with partner agencies at the Flood Assistance Center to connect families with vital relief resources.

Since the floods began early Thursday morning, the Red Cross has served more than 10,000 meals and snacks, provided more than 300 health service checks, and registered more than 500 individuals at the Flood Assistance Center.

Disaster workers continue to canvass the most heavily affected areas, delivering meals and clean-up supplies such as bleach, mops, gloves, rakes and shovels. One Red Cross shelter remains open at Dove Springs Rec Center, and will remain open as long as needed.

“We have made great strides in the disaster response, but there is still so much work to be done,” said Marty McKellips, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Texas. “Our focus now is to finish the damage assessment so we can move from response into recovery. This is a resilient community, and it will take a partnership between Red Cross and many other agencies and organizations to begin the recovery process. We will be here to provide assistance as long as the recovery process takes.”

With additional rain in the forecast this week, the Red Cross is encouraging Central Texas families to take precautions. As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for floods by:

  • Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice. Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
  • Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.
  • Heeding Flood Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated flood information. A flood WATCH means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A food WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Relocating During Flood Warnings: Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle, stop, turn around and go another way. 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.
  • HOW TO HELP

    People across the flooded areas need help now. People can make a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Central Texas Chapter.

    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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.