SAN DIEGO – February 15, 2018 – The American Red Cross is providing assistance to families affected by Tropical Cyclone Gita, severe winds, floods and landslides. The San Diego Region of the American Red Cross, which includes American Samoa, has deployed eight disaster workers to assist with the recovery efforts, including Regional Chief Executive Officer Sean Mahoney. The San Diego-based disaster workers join 40 disaster workers from American Samoa and several additional volunteers from other Red Cross regions.
“I am so impressed by the resilience and positivity that we have heard from the people in American Samoa in the face of a disaster of this scale,” said Regional CEO Sean Mahoney. “I am looking forward to joining the team on the ground in American Samoa to assist with the efforts and provide much-needed relief and comfort to the affected families.”
More than 2,400 emergency supplies like tarps, flashlights and comfort kits have been distributed and additional supplies are on the way, including clean-up kits, mosquito nets and more. Red Cross disaster workers will conduct damage assessments and plan to open a Service Center for families with major damage or destroyed homes next week.
“Thank you especially to the volunteers and professionals who are in American Samoa or on their way in the next few days with important supplies to help displaced people and offer other essential assistance,” said Congresswoman Aumua Amata of American Samoa. “The Red Cross has worldwide experience in disaster relief, and this response will be a comfort to our people as we work together to recover stronger than ever.”
In American Samoa, the American Samoan government (Dept. of Education) provides shelter to evacuees and the Red Cross supports relief efforts through distributing emergency supplies and providing casework to families whose homes are majorly damaged or destroyed. Faith-based organizations are also providing food and shelter to evacuees. The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community to coordinate relief and recovery efforts.
STAY CONNECTED WITH LOVED ONES Visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org/safeandwell to reconnect with loved ones. The site allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. You can also use the “I’m Safe” feature of the Red Cross Emergency App to let loved ones know your status.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters big and small, like floods, landslides and countless other crises, by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
SAFETY TIPS FOR RETURNING HOME If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Other safety steps for returning home after a flood include:
- If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water. Report them immediately to the power company.
- If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame, including candles, to inspect for damage or serve as alternate lighting.
- If any gas or electrical appliances were flooded, don’t use them until they have been checked for safety.
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
- Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected. This includes mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys.
- Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud.
Additional information on flood safety can be found on redcross.org and on the free Red Cross Emergency App which puts safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties
The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support, we provide lifesaving preparedness training; disaster relief services; services to deployed military personnel and their families, and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Through Prepare San Diego, a regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle. 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/sandiego or connect with us on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter.