Disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois are winding down the response to severe flooding Stephenson and Winnebago Counties as well as continuing to respond to fires across the 21-county region. Volunteers responded to 21 fires from Monday, March 18 to today in the region including fires in Franklin Park, Rockford, Arlington Heights, Oak Lawn and 14 of those fires happening in Chicago.
The fires in the past week affected 97 people including 71 adults and 26 children.
The Red Cross provided resources to help address the immediate basic needs of those affected such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services, and health and mental health services. Additional information about these incidents, if available, may be obtained from the local first responding agency/fire department.
Multiple flood shelters were opened in response to the Pecatonica and Rock Rivers flooding in Rockford and Freeport. One shelter at Riverside Community Church in Machesney Park remains open with three residents.
On Sunday, the Red Cross of Northwest Illinois along with several other community partners distributed flood cleanup supplies in Freeport. Eighty-six cleanup kits were given out at the event.
Anyone needing assistance due to the flooding in the Rockford and Freeport area should call the Red Cross Flood Helpline at (872) 529-1784.
Responding volunteers are members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a disaster when called upon any time of the day or night.
FLOOD SAFETY AND CLEANUP: The Red Cross has steps for someone to follow if their community is affected by flooding:
HOW TO HELP: The Red Cross depends on financial donations to provide immediate disaster relief. Help people affected by severe storms, fires and flooding by visiting redcross.org or calling 1- 800-RED CROSS. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
DONATE BLOOD: The Red Cross also has a critical need for blood and platelet donations to help meet patient needs. The Red Cross asks eligible individuals to make an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
The Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day in Chicago and northern Illinois. The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/prepare.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.