Tuesday, August 4, residents in every county in the Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Region felt the disastrous effects of Hurricane Isaias as it churned its way up the East Coast, leaving many unable to return to their homes because the damaged caused by the storm. The storm brought the most severe impacts from a tropical system to the area since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The American Red Cross stepped in to makes sure that as many people as possible received support, including a safe, dry place to spend the night.
Isaias brought torrential rainfall and flooding, damaging winds and even two tornadoes. Despite being affected themselves, American Red Cross disaster workers answered dozens of calls for help, opening several evacuation centers for people whose homes were flooding.
By the evening hours, the Red Cross moved more than 130 residents safely to hotels, including one that is pet friendly. Hotels are being used instead of more traditional shelters like school gyms due to COVID-19 to keep people safe and socially distanced.
Wednesday morning at one hotel in Philadelphia, Pamela Frazier came down from her room to the front desk. She had spent the night at the Red Cross hotel shelter because her Darby apartment building had been flooded out.
“You saw it happening before your eyes,” she said about how quickly the water rose, covering roadways and sinking cars.
Frazier said that when she arrived the night before, she met Red Cross volunteers Eileen Moran and Nancy Delucia who welcomed her and helped her check into her room for the night.
“They’re fantastic. The personality, attitudes,” she said. “Everything we needed they were right there.”
Talking to those same volunteers Wednesday morning, she got updated information and information about her stay.
“Thank you for everything,” she said to them, before heading back to the elevator.
Having been previously flooded out of her own home years before, Moran said she understood the devastation people were experiencing. She said that she tries to help the local community by volunteering.
“We don’t just provide housing, we provide kindness. That’s a big part of what we do,” Moran said.
After a disaster like Hurricane Isaias, the Red Cross will tailor our services to meet the needs of each community. Local volunteers will provide critical, on the ground relief to their neighbors and we’ll offer some services virtually—including health and mental health services. Anyone who needs Red Cross help should call 1-800-RED-CROSS.