Mississippi Red Cross continues Response, transitions to Client Casework

JACKSON, MS, Friday, December 28, 2012—American Red Cross workers continue to help provide relief to those affected by the Christmas Day storms.

"Our extensive relief efforts include providing food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort for people," said Gordon Stewart, disaster operations manager. "The majority of the power has been restored and many families are starting to return to their homes."

Red Cross mobile vehicles continue to provide meals and emergency supplies in the hardest hit areas. Red Cross is providing people with supplies such as cleanup kits, blankets, flashlights, batteries, rakes, tarps, trash bags, work gloves, and shovels.

"We will continue to provide services based on disaster-caused needs specifically related to the Christmas Day storms," Stewart said.

Today, Red Cross will begin individual service delivery through client casework. The majority of the needs in Mississippi have been met through sheltering, feeding and distribution of supplies for comfort and cleanup, but through the following steps, Red Cross will determine needs on an individual basis.

• Health services and mental health workers will continue to meet with families that have disaster-caused health and emotional needs.

• Red Cross will continue to work with community partners and agencies to identify appropriate resources for any remaining disaster-caused needs.

• If residents still have disaster-caused needs specifically related to the Christmas Day storms, call the local Red Cross Office, search “Red Cross Mississippi” on Facebook or follow @RedCrossMiss on Twitter. For a list of Red Cross Offices and contact numbers, visit www.mississippi-redcross.org.

• Residents may also call United Way 211 to help determine if other community partners can assist with their recovery.

Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) have responded in Amite, Clarke, Forrest, Jones, Lawrence, Madison, Pearl River, Stone, Warren and Wilkinson counties. Red Cross is working with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local Emergency Managers.

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free and made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of this severe weather event in Mississippi by making a financial gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief in Mississippi which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.

To make contributions, donate online at www.redcross.org/mississippi, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to any of the local Red Cross Offices in Mississippi.

For Red Cross cold weather safety tips and preparedness information, visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm.

As people return home to begin the clean-up, Red Cross has several safety steps that should be followed.

• If possible, leave children and pets with a relative or friend. If not, keep them away from hazards.

• When the power is out, use flashlights, not candles.

• Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home.

• Look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage - it may be too dangerous to enter the home. If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department.

• Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid which were sealed shut. When in doubt, throw it out.

• Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys).

• Clean hard surfaces (flooring, countertops and appliances) thoroughly with hot water and soap or a detergent.

• Check the ceiling and floor for signs of sagging. Water may be trapped in the ceiling, or floors may be unsafe to walk on.

• Be careful when moving waterlogged furnishings or debris that may be heavier.

• Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you know it’s safe.

• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal–burning device inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

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About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross Mississippi Region shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supports the supply of 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 www.redcross.org/mississippi, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMiss.