Thursday, March 21

Flood Awareness Week: The Red Cross Responds

With more and more extreme weather occurring in recent years—take Superstorm Sandy or the Summer Derecho—expect flooding to intensify, too. The risk of flooding can happen any time and in any of the 50 states. And, it only takes an inch of water to cause extensive damage to a family’s home. Even in areas where excessive droughts have occurred, a quick bout of rain could lead to flash flooding, bringing walls of water 10 to 20 feet high that devastate homes and buildings.

If there is one thing the American Red Cross has learned from recent events, including floods, it’s that being prepared is absolutely critical. As soon as flood warnings are issued, the Red Cross prepositions supplies, identifies shelter locations and places volunteers on call. And when the water begins to rise, Red Cross workers mobilize, opening shelter doors, setting up cots, serving hot meals and handing out blankets to families seeking relief from the deluge.

In March 1982, flood waters flowed through Fort Wayne, inundating the community with water and leaving over 2,000 buildings damaged, costing $56.1 million. With their houses inaccessible, many families and individuals sought aid in the days following the disaster as they begin to repair the damage to their homes and recover from their losses.

Help us provide a safe and dry place to stay, food, emotional support and many other kinds of assistance — whenever and wherever disaster strikes. Give to American Red Cross Disaster Relief today and help us bring vital supplies and relief to people affected by disasters like these floods.

Even when the waters recede, the worst isn’t over for residents tasked with returning to their homes to survey the damage. In these trying times, Red Cross workers are on hand to distribute cleanup kits containing mops, shovels, garbage bags, work gloves and tarps, and to offer emotional support for families sifting through the wreckage. It can take days and even weeks to learn the full extent of water damage following a flood, and the Red Cross remains with survivors on the road to recovery, providing compassionate understanding and helping to develop recovery plans as people begin to rebuild their lives.

Every year the Red Cross spends an average of $345 million on disaster relief. In addition to providing direct relief services to those affected by disasters, this figure also includes costs to maintain warehouses and emergency response vehicles, train volunteers, staff call centers, fund computer systems and keep paid staff ready to provide assistance to people in need. It is through the ongoing support of the public that we can continue to maintain these resources 24/7 and remain ready to respond when disaster strikes.

How YOU Can Help...

You can help people affected by disasters like floods, as well as countless crises at home and across the country, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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