In the last month, a series of deadly hurricanes and wildfires have uprooted lives as people have struggled with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The Red Cross is on the ground working tirelessly to provide food, shelter, comfort and support to people in need. Even as we’re responding to Hurricane Laura and the deadly western wildfires, the Red Cross is mobilizing supplies and volunteers in anticipation of Tropical Storm Sally.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED- Our work is just beginning, as we will be providing support for weeks to come. You can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review our most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
In the midst of this extremely active disaster season, right now more than 2,000 Red Cross volunteers are helping the thousands of people affected. The Illinois region currently has 56 volunteers deployed to disasters across the country, with plans for more team members to leave to help.
With the current disasters and the complexities of COVID-19, more help is needed now. Become a Red Cross volunteer today. Please go to RedCross.org/volunteer to learn more and sign up to volunteer.
DISASTER OUTLOOK- Three of the five largest wildfires in California history are burning now, and a total of more than 3.1 million acres have already been consumed. In Oregon, more than a million acres have been burned by what is being called “once-in-a-generation” fires. The fire threat isn’t over. Red flag warnings are still in effect for parts of California and Oregon. Strong winds and low humidity may help new or existing wildfires to spread.
In late August, Hurricane Laura — one of most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. — left terrible devastation across Louisiana and east Texas. Now, Tropical Storm Sally, which could become a hurricane in the next day, is again threatening communities along the Gulf Coast.
We are coordinating closely with partners and local officials in the affected areas to maintain massive relief efforts across multiple states. Our work is focused on making sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat and other support to help them get back on their feet. More relief supplies — including ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets, cleanup kits, hygiene items and personal protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer — stand ready if we need them. Volunteers are also providing individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs or provide emotional and spiritual support during these challenging times. This also includes replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or other medical equipment. We are also helping people impacted by smaller disasters like home fires every day.
COVID-19 has not changed the Red Cross mission, and we are still providing the same types of support as we have previously. To help keep people safe, we are following guidance from CDC and public health authorities — and have put in place additional precautions. Some of these plans include social distancing protocols, face coverings, health screenings, and opening more shelters that can support fewer people than normal.
HOW YOU CAN HELP- The Red Cross is working 24-7 to respond to disasters like wildfires, tropical storms and countless other crises. Please donate to help now by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS RESPOND TO HOME FIRES LOCALLY- Volunteers with the Disaster Action Team were busy this week responding to home fires in Danville, Henry, Peoria, and more. Our volunteers assisted seven people, including six adults and one child from September 8 to today.
The Red Cross provided these families with a safe place to stay, health services and information about recovery.
If you need assistance, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747. You can take two easy steps to protect your home and loved ones from a fire: Get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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 us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.