The American Red Cross continues to help thousands of people affected by the devastating flooding in Louisiana while preparing to respond to the multiple storms threatening in both the Atlantic and Pacific.
Two Pacific hurricanes – Madeline and Lester – are expected to hit Hawaii over the next several days, bringing as much as 15 inches of rain and 75 mph winds to The Aloha State. The Red Cross has disaster workers and supplies on alert to respond if necessary.
A tropical depression is headed toward Florida with as much as 10 inches of rain. Another storm is headed toward North and South Carolina bringing as much as 5 inches of rain there. Both storms are expected to strengthen to tropical storms. Red Cross workers and supplies are on alert to help if needed.
Red Cross workers are also responding to wildfires out west, flooding in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania and tornadoes in Indiana along with numerous smaller emergencies such as home fires.
RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS BUSY
The last several weeks have kept Red Cross disaster volunteers busy. Brad Kieserman, Red Cross Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics, reports to date, the Red Cross has deployed more than 6,300 volunteers in less than two months, two and half times the number called upon by this point in 2015. Plus, last year saw 24,000 volunteers deployed with 2015 requiring more than triple the number of volunteers than in any of the three years prior.
GET READY FOR STORMS NOW
People in the path of the storms threatening Hawaii through the upcoming holiday weekend and those headed to Florida and the Carolinas should get prepared now. The Red Cross has three steps people can follow - build a kit, make a plan and be informed.
An emergency kit should include a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications and copies of important documents. Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Learn about how your community responds to hurricanes and plan routes to local shelters. Remember family members with special medical needs and plan how you will care for your pets.
The Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist is available to learn more about what to do if a hurricane might affect your community. For more information on hurricane safety, visit the preparedness section of our web site.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP
People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of hurricanes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
LOUISIANA RESPONSEMeanwhile, the massive relief response in Louisiana continues as Red Cross workers provide food, shelter and relief supplies to the thousands of people affected by the devastating flooding there. As many as100 Red Cross response vehicles are distributing food, water and relief supplies. Shelters are still open, and as many as 1,600 people were seeking refuge in 13 Red Cross and community shelters as of Monday night. Disaster health volunteers are providing emotional support and helping to replace things like lost eyeglasses, wheelchairs and medications.
More than 3,200 Red Crossers – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – have tirelessly supported relief efforts since the flooding began. Over 90 percent of these trained disaster workers are volunteers. As of Tuesday, August 30, the Red Cross and our partners have—Served more than 657,000 meals and snacks.Distributed more than 371,000 relief items.Provided more than 62,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters. Handled more than 29,000 calls from people seeking help. Provided more than 21,000 health services and emotional support contacts.
PLEASE HELP NOW
The Red Cross needs your support to help people affected by disasters big and small. People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small. You can help by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.