The American Red Cross is providing help such as shelter, food, water and comfort to people affected by severe flooding in this part of the country while continuing to respond to the explosion in Texas and the Boston marathon bombing.
Many people spent the night in Red Cross and community shelters in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin where flooding has caused heavy damage. Thousands are without power and homes and roadways flooded after heavy rainfall in the region. The Red Cross has additional volunteers, shelters and supplies on standby to support people forced from their homes by flood waters and we will be providing help for days to come.
• One volunteer and one staff member have been deployed to the West Michigan Region from the Southeastern Michigan Regional Chapter to assist with Shelter Operations and Mobile Feeding in and around the Grand Rapids area.
• The Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter has deployed three volunteers to the Chicago area to assist with relief in the area of Health Services, Mental Health Services and Bulk Distribution.
West Michigan Region
• The West Michigan Region has been greatly impacted by rain and floodwater last week and this week. The Red Cross has opened direct distribution sites and workers have helped dozens of families by providing hygiene kits and clean-up kits.
• Relief supplies can be picked up at one of the 6 distribution shelters/sites in the West Michigan area, where licensed mental health workers are on hand to provide counseling and First Aid stations are also available.
The West Michigan Region has distributed:
57 clean-up kits
Provided shelter for more than 65 people
Served nearly 500 meals and snacks
North Central Region
• The Saginaw area was impacted by rain and floodwaters last week into this weekend, where shelters were open in Saginaw. Those shelters have now been closed but bulk distribution continues though the Saginaw area.
“We are responding to the devastating flooding in this part of the country where flood waters have inundated communities across several states,” said La Forice Nealy, Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region. “Meanwhile we are still helping people affected by the tragic events in Boston and Texas and will continue to help those in need.”
BOSTON, TEXAS Meanwhile, in Boston, the Red Cross is providing food, water and comfort to people including first responders and those being evacuated during the situation there today. More than 200 Red Cross Disaster workers have served more than 10,000 meals and snacks, handed out hundreds of relief items like blankets and comfort kits and provided hundreds of mental health and health services to those in need. Red Cross Blood Services has provided about 550 blood products to several hospitals in the Boston area. In West, Texas, Red Cross disaster workers are providing emotional support, health services and distributing relief items to those affected by the explosion. Red Cross Blood Services has shipped 175 blood products to hospitals in the region.
HOW TO HELP The Red Cross is helping people across a large region of the country affected by these disasters. If someone would like to help they can donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit http://www.onefundboston.org.
Right now the Red Cross has enough blood on hand to help patients in Texas and Boston. However, patients need blood every day and those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting http://www.redcrossblood.org.
STEPS TO HELP COPE This has been a difficult week for people all across the country with horrifying events, dramatic and emotional news reports and severe weather happening across the country. In these times, it’s important for people to connect with and support each other and do something that makes them feel prepared for future disasters.
The Red Cross has information people can use to cope in the aftermath of these tragedies. For free counseling or support which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
Getting oneself and one’s loved ones more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind. Taking an action like downloading the Red Cross first aid app, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help someone feel empowered to face future emergencies.
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