EL PASO, TX – September 12, 2013 - The American Red Cross El Paso is increasing its relief operation to support at least three emergency shelters and possible outreach to flooded neighborhoods throughout El Paso. Those wishing to help as volunteers are encouraged to apply online and will receive instructions for completing initial shelter training. Volunteers should go to www.redcross.org/tx/el-paso/volunteer to set up an account in Volunteer Connection and complete the online orientation. A Red Cross representative will then contact the volunteer for training instructions.
Residents in Socorro, San Elizario and Vinton have experienced extremely heavy rain and flash flooding, so emergency shelters are open at the Socorro High School, 10150 Alameda Road, San Elizario High School, 13981 Socorro Road, and West Valley Fire Station, 510 Vinton Road. The American Red Cross El Paso is supporting the shelters with workers, cots, blankets and other supplies to help those needing assistance. Additional shelter locations are being considered as rain continues throughout the area. The Salvation Army is preparing meals for those who will need food during this flooding emergency.
“Our thoughts are with those who have already suffered damages from these flash floods, and we hope to provide at least a little comfort and a safe, dry place for families to stay until the rain stops and the water recedes,” said Mark Matthys, Executive Director, American Red Cross El Paso.
American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to stay safe when floods threaten. “It’s difficult to imagine flooding in the desert, but besides fires, flash flooding is the greatest disaster risk we face,” said Matthys. “A few inches of rain in a few hours can force people to flee their homes and leave them stranded.”
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:
For more information on flood preparedness, contact the El Paso Area Chapter of the American Red Cross at 915-592-0208, visit www.redcross.org or www.cruzrojaamericana.org or call 1-800 RED CROSS. We urge you to share these Red Cross flood preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.
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 join our blog at blog.redcross.org.