Houston, TX, August 29, 2017 — The American Red Cross continue to provide shelter and comfort to thousands of people forced from their homes by the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. If someone needs to find a shelter, they can call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcross.org, or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. They can also check with their local officials or monitor local media for information on where to find a shelter. Throughout the night, emergency responders continued to bring rescued families to shelters and evacuees streamed in. Preliminary estimates indicate that at least 17,000 people sought refuge in more than 45 shelters across Texas Monday night. This includes at least 8,000 evacuees at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
This is a very active situation in Houston and across the gulf coast region. The Red Cross is actively working to relocate many of those affected to other shelter locations. Our goal is to insure that everyone has a safe place to stay; no one will be turned away.
Water rescues are ongoing and evacuation orders are in still effect throughout the region. Numerous hospitals and nursing facilities are evacuating patients and residents. All public transportation is at a halt. Schools and airports are closed and hundreds of thousands of people are still without power. The Red Cross Safe and Well website is another tool that the community can use to connect with loved ones. The Safe and Well website facilitates communication from inside the disaster-affected area to outside the affected area, helping people notify loved ones of their well-being, as well as reuniting separated family members within the disaster area. This is a free and publicly accessible tool, available 24/7/365. There is no activation required. Registrants also have the option of updating their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Paper registration forms are also available for collecting registration information and transporting to an area with connectivity for website entry. Access is available in English and Spanish.
RED CROSS RESPONSEAlmost 1,000 volunteers are on the ground and more help is on the way. They will be joined by a group of highly-skilled volunteers from the Mexican Red Cross who will help support shelters, distribute aid, and connect with Spanish speaking disaster survivors to keep them informed about support available to them.Along with our partners, we have served nearly 30,000 meals and snacks since the storm began.More than 80 tractor-trailer loads of cots, blankets, ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits, kitchen supplies and cleaning supplies are now on the ground in Texas. This includes supplies to support 6 kitchens, each able to produce 10,000 meals a day. About 73,000 ready-to-eat meals are currently on the ground with an additional 43,000 en route.More than half of our emergency response fleet – 200 Emergency Response Vehicles – have been activated for the operation. At the end of last week, the Red Cross prepositioned additional blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure an adequate blood supply would be available for hospital patients. We also staged more blood product inventory in Dallas. We are closely working with local and federal authorities to continue the distribution of blood products to our hospital partners.More than 14 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps since Thursday, surpassing the 6 million issued for Superstorm Sandy. The alerts provide people with real-time information so they can help protect themselves and their loved-ones.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Red Cross has launched a massive relief response to this devastating storm and needs financial donations to be able to provide immediate disaster relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
HURRICANE SAFETY STEPS
People should listen to the advice of emergency officials. If they need to be rescued, they can call trained rescue professionals at 9-1-1 or the U.S. Coast Guard at these numbers: 281-464-4851, 281-464-4852, 281-464-4853, 281-464-4854, 281-464-4855
If someone needs to find a shelter, they can call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcross.org, or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. They can also check with their local officials or monitor local media for information on where to find a shelter.
People should also follow these safety steps:Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.Head for higher ground and stay there.Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.Keep children out of the water.Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, catlitter and pan, and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost.
About the American Red Cross:
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 thatdepends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.