Red Cross Deploys Local Volunteers to Provide Disaster Relief in Southeast Texas
NOVEMBER 2, 2015 – Today, American Red Cross of Palm Beach & Martin County Chapter announced it will deploy MaryAnn McCampbell, John DiBattista, and Patricia DiBattista to provide support and comfort to those affected by disasters in Texas. To date, the South Florida Region Red Cross has deployed six disaster workers to provide disaster relief in Southeast Texas. Over the weekend, thousands of families across the state of Texas were impacted by severe storms that brought tornadoes, heavy rains and flash flooding to already water-logged communities. These same residents have been relentlessly tested as storm after storm continued to dump rain on already saturated grounds over the last two weeks. Thankfully, the heaviest rainfall has ended across south-central Texas, where 36-hour rainfall totals were as high as 14-18 inches between the Austin and San Antonio area.
WHY: The American Red Cross is hard at work coordinating massive relief operations across Texas, including in hardest hit Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Many of these areas were also heavily impacted by tornadoes,
flooding and severe weather in May and June. The Red Cross is again operating shelters, serving meals, delivering relief supplies and providing support for residents in need. On Sunday night over 100 people who safely evacuated their home before floods submerged it, found a safe and dry place to sleep, food to eat, health services and emotional support in five Red Cross shelters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Important hurricane safety information is available here. 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.
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.