Local Red Cross assists Harvey relief

An American Red Cross health services worker meets with people staying at shelter.

An American Red Cross worker speaks with a family staying at the shelter.

The Scioto River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has announced that local people are working to assist in Texas.

“We have already deployed 13 people from our region and many more are expected to go in the days ahead,” the local chapter released. “We are also reaching out to donors in our region to help with relief efforts in Texas.”

The news from Texas is horrific as Hurricane Harvey continues its devastation from coastal towns into Houston. Watch any news channel for the latest updates about the 1000s of people who are without power, coping with high water in their homes and on the roadways and trying to get to safer ground. The Red Cross has mobilized a massive relief effort to staff many shelters and provide food and comfort.

“We will be there for weeks and months, helping the residents recover from this massive storm,” a SRV Red Cross announcement stated.

The threat from Hurricane Harvey is far from over as extremely dangerous flooding continues in Texas and parts of Louisiana. Getting help in some areas will be challenging for some time due to devastating floodwaters and closed roads. This is a challenging situation for those in the storm’s path, and the American Red Cross is working around the clock to provide safe shelter and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by this disaster.

Harvey will continue to produce an additional several feet of rain over the next several days and millions of people are facing flash flood warnings, including the entire Houston metro area which is under a flash flood emergency. There are numerous reports of people stranded in their homes and water rescues are ongoing. Roads are flooded, rail lines are shut down, airports closed and hundreds of thousands have no power. Numerous hospitals, nursing facilities and dialysis centers are closed.

More than 1,800 people took refuge from the deadly storm Saturday night in 34 Red Cross and community shelters in Texas. In Louisiana, one shelter is open where eight people spent Saturday night. These numbers are expected to grow and dozens of additional shelters could open.

Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from all over the country are on the ground now, working around the clock to provide safe shelter and comfort to people impacted by this devastating storm.

The Red Cross has enough shelter supplies in Texas to support 28,000 people and supplies for an additional 22,000 people are being sent in now. In addition, tractor trailer loads of ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits, kitchen supplies and cleaning supplies are on the ground in Texas. Nearly half of our emergency response fleet — more than 150 vehicles – have been mobilized.

The Red Cross has also prepositioned blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure we can maintain an adequate blood supply over the weekend. The American Red Cross has also staged additional blood inventory in Dallas.

Massive disasters like Hurricane Harvey create more needs than any one organization can meet on their own. The Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible. The Red Cross is mobilizing its disaster partners to support feeding, child care, disaster assessment and other disaster services.

More than 6 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps since Thursday. The alerts provide people with real-time information so they can help protect themselves and their loved-ones.

The local chapter is also working to organize donors to assist in relief efforts. Individuals or organizations can make donations to help those affected in TX by sending donations to the American Red Cross at 1801 Robinson Ave, by calling 740-354-3293, or visit www.redcross.org.