On Friday morning, Carol walked into the Multi Agency Resource Center (MARC) to see what services might be available to help her. The lower level of her home in Burlington County had flooded days earlier following the heavy rains that came with a storm in the early morning hours of June 20.
The Burlington County MARC was open on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, a MARC offering similar services was available in Camden County for those affected by flooding in Gloucester and Camden Counties. The centers, coordinated by the New Jersey Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NJVOAD) and organized by the Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COADs) in Burlington, Gloucester and Camden Counties, brought together various organizations and agencies which can provide services and help with recovery needs. American Red Cross disaster workers were present offering services and relief supplies at both locations.
Carol sat down at the American Red Cross table and discussed her situation with the volunteers helping people with recovery. Carol’s home had taken on water, but she felt fortunate that it was confined to her basement and had not flooded her main living area as some of her neighbors had experienced. The volunteers shared safety information and told Carol how clean-up kits containing items such as a mop, disinfectant, detergent and sponges, as well as additional relief items like gloves, masks and brooms were available and would be loaded into her vehicle when she was ready to leave.
Based on Carol’s need for physical help with removal of damaged furniture and wet sheetrock, the volunteers told her how services being provided by Team Rubicon could potentially help her with this particular task and connected her with a representative at the MARC. Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services and Disaster Spiritual Care Services were also available to Carol and other visitors, should they wish to speak with them then or in the future.
The MARC also offered visitors the opportunity to meet with representatives from organizations including Southern Baptist Disaster Services, St. Vincent de Paul, Burlington County Department of Health Services and Burlington County Department of Human Services. Visitors were also welcome to stop by the Tri-State K-9 Crisis Response table and pet one of the comforting therapy dogs that were present. Many did.
After the flooding in Southern New Jersey, American Red Cross New Jersey Region disaster workers helped man reception centers open in Westville and Southampton to provide a safe, dry place for those who needed to evacuate their homes. In the days that followed, disaster workers delivered meals in affected neighborhoods; met one-on-one with families to provide emergency assistance, help with recovery plans and find additional services and resources available; and distributed relief supplies like clean-up kits and bottled water to those affected.
Since June 20, more than 65 Red Cross disaster workers (mostly volunteers) have:
- Distributed 510 clean-up kits along with other relief supplies like brooms, rakes and additional gloves and masks.
- Helped 60 families with Red Cross emergency assistance to help with immediate needs.
- Distributed 200 comfort kits containing personal care items.
- Served more than 490 meals and snacks.
- Handed out 230 cases of water.
- Helped provide Red Cross Disaster Health and Disaster Mental Health Services to those affected
HOW TO HELP All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help people affected by disasters like flooding or countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
People interested in volunteering with future disaster responses can learn more and register online at redcross.org/volunteer.