As more rain threatens many states in the central part of the United States, major to near record flooding continues. The American Red Cross remains on the ground, providing food and shelter for the hundreds of people impacted. This weekend, three emergency response vehicles, from Aiken, Myrtle Beach and Charleston, and additional volunteers from South Carolina are traveling to Missouri and Arkansas to join in the relief efforts.
Rebecca Fitzpatrick from Aiken and Angelo Costa from Columbia are the volunteer team driving the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle that is based in Aiken to Missouri. Once there, they will be delivering food and relief items to hard hit areas, ensuring that people have a hot meal and the supplies that they need as they begin to return home.
Fitzpatrick, who has deployed nearly 20 times, primarily with the Emergency Response Vehicle, believes it is her calling to go and help those in need. She is joined by Costa, who is going on his first Red Cross deployment. During his military career he was regularly in the field and now he is able to deploy with the Red Cross and help people.
“When Hurricane Matthew hit South Carolina, it was so comforting to see Red Cross volunteers and Emergency Response Vehicles roll in from across the country,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional CEO for the Red Cross in South Carolina. “Now we have an opportunity to help those who helped us. I couldn’t be prouder of our team for being willing to deploy and bring hope and relief to those suffering from the impacts of the flooding.”
Hardest hit are Missouri and Arkansas. More than 130 people are still in 13 shelters in the two states. In Missouri, the Red Cross and partners have already provided shelter for more than 355 people in shelters and distributed more than 2,180 meals and snacks and almost 9,200 relief items (as of May 3).
More rain is forecast for the region and moderate to major flooding is predicted to continue for the next several days. The Red Cross is working with local and state officials to ensure people get the help they need. If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit redcross.org, check the Red Cross Emergency App or call 1-800-768-8048.
Flood waters continue to rise and mandatory evacuations are occurring in several areas. Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food, health and mental health services and distributing relief items. In some areas, Red Cross caseworkers are beginning to connect one-on-one with families now to create recovery plans and access additional support.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Hundreds of people across a large part of the country need your help now. Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single donation brings hope to those in need.
Make a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.
Help people affected by disasters like severe storms 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.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
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 redcross.org/apps.