The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states, providing food and shelter for hundreds of people affected by severe weather and flooding. More rain and storms are forecast and the Red Cross is prepared to launch additional responses if needed.
From Central New York, Skaneateles resident Ed Dienst is traveling to Missouri to volunteer as an external relations and community partnerships supervisor.
The Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – federal, state, county and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently.
More than 250 people sought refuge from the storms Tuesday night in 19 shelters across Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee In addition to opening shelters, Red Cross volunteers are providing food and relief items, and health and mental health services.
In some areas, Red Cross caseworkers are beginning to connect one-on-one with families now to create recovery plans and access additional support. More severe weather is predicted through early next week and rivers continue to rise above flood level, especially in Missouri and Illinois.
Locally, the Western and Central New York Region is helping communities recover from recent storms, while coordinating possible additional responses in the days ahead.
In the Southern Tier, portions of Broome and Chenango Counties were particularly hard hit with high winds and heavy rains. The Red Cross is assisting a total of 23 people who were displaced by storm damage. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed. Power outages are widespread, and the Red Cross and community partners have set up distribution sites for dry ice and bottled water.
In Greater Rochester, Disaster Assessment teams are surveying communities impacted by flooding in portions of Monroe County, and are maintaining contact with Emergency Managers in Monroe and surrounding counties. In Central New York, Disaster Assessment volunteers are in areas of Oswego County that have flooded. There is also ongoing communication with state and local authorities, as well as partner agencies, to monitor areas deemed to be vulnerable for additional flooding. Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency along Lake Ontario’s shoreline. The lake, swollen by near-record rainfall in upstate New York and in Canada, is at its highest level in a quarter century.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, 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 http://redcross.org/apps
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like floods, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation today by visiting http://redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.