Red Cross Opens Shelter, Provides Comfort for Flood Victims

“Red Cross will be coordinating with emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by the flood get back on their feet,” said Jay Huffstatler, chapter executive.

The American Red Cross South Mississippi Chapter is on the scene in Jackson County to help those affected by the flood. An emergency shelter is open at 18413 Hwy. 613 in Moss Point to help residents impacted by the flood by offering a safe place to stay and a shoulder to lean on.

Red Cross provided assistance to 17 people in the shelter last night with hot meals, clothing and emotional support. Volunteers and supplies are being moved into the affected communities to provide disaster assessment, clean up kits and bulk items once flooded communities are cleared and safe for return.

“Red Cross will be coordinating with emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by the flood get back on their feet,” said Jay Huffstatler, chapter executive. “The Red Cross will keep the shelter open as long as needed in addition to providing mobile feeding and mental health support to those affected by the flood.”

The Red Cross offers the following tips for those in the affected area to stay safe.

• Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

• Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damages.

• Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.

• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.

• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

• When it is safe to return home, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.

• During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

• Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!

• Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

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 severe weather events in Mississippi by making a financial gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief 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 assistance with disaster-caused needs, please contact your local Red Cross office through www.redcross.org/mississippi, find us on Facebook by searching “Red Cross Mississippi” or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMiss.

Photo Caption: Red Cross volunteer Jerry White loads cases of water into an emergency response vehicle (ERV) at the Pascagoula Red Cross Office. The supplies are headed to a shelter for those affected by flooding in Jackson County.