Red Cross Deploys Local Volunteers to Provide Disaster Relief in Southeast Texas

OCTOBER 31, 2015 – Today, American Red Cross of Florida’s Southern Gulf Chapter announced it will deploy Ross Hollander to provide support and comfort to those affected by flooding in Harlingen, Texas. To date, the South Florida Region Red Cross has deployed two disaster workers to provide relief in response to the drenching storms that the remnants of Hurricane Patricia left behind; the area continues to deal with extensive damage, flooding and ongoing rainfall.  The Red Cross is operating 20 shelters for residents who’ve been impacted.

WHO:  Ross Hollander is Mass Care and Shelter Lead for the American Red Cross. He’s volunteered with the organization for over a year, this is his first deployment.

WHY: The American Red Cross is working with local and national organizations to assist the many families affected by the recent flooding from the torrential rain prior to the remains of Hurricane Patricia. The work of the Red Cross in disasters is never done as we help people, communities and organizations to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters big and small. Post-disaster collaboration and communication is critical to ensuring that people have the support they need. Recovering from a disaster takes time and a diverse network of organizations and services to make sure people have the help they need. The Red Cross is there now—and we’ll continue to be there in the months ahead.

HOW TO HELP

Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods, and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

VOLUNTEER

Learn what it’s like to be a Red Cross disaster volunteer. The American Red Cross is calling on community members to join the team to make sure the South Florida Region Red Cross is ready when a disaster strikes. For more information visit our website.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP

The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, hurricanes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

FLOOD SAFETY 

If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. You can learn more about flood safety here. Some safety steps to remember include:

  • 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 you come upon a flooded road while 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.

HURRICANE SAFETY 

  • Important hurricane safety information is availablehere. What should you do?
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local media outlets for critical information about the storm.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and get some extra cash.
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you don’t have shutters, close and board up all the windows with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible.
  • If you have propane, turn off the tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • If you are ordered to evacuate, obey the order, avoiding flooded roads and washed out bridges.

BUILD YOUR KIT 

Emergency preparedness kits should include enough supplies for at least three days in case someone has to evacuate. Water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents should go in every kit. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home.

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 that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/southflorida or visit us on Twitter at @SFLRedCross.

 

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