Red Cross readies for Ike
I am in the Sacramento, CA chapter of the Red Cross, poised to send volunteers to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
Just a week ago I returned from Alexandria, LA as a volunteer where we helped keep evacuees safe and sound.
And now we have a new, bigger hurricane that will create the need for Red Cross to do what it does best once again - provide emergency shelter and food to those in harm's way.
We are helping thousands in Louisiana and Texas seek shelter
Hurricane Ike is expected to make landfall late Friday evening or early Saturday morning, affecting areas of Texas and Louisiana.
As the Red Cross continues moving relief supplies to Texas, its message to residents is urgent - listen to the directions of local officials, prepare to evacuate if told to do so and register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site.
Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
- Prescription and emergency medications
- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
- Identification and important personal documents
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.
The Red Cross tries to provide as many of these items as we can, but evacuation shelters are meant to be short-term shelters for 12 - 24 hours until the storm passes. Be prepared: you never know how long you might have to be in a shelter.
If you have one call to make before you evacuate your home, call someone you love and tell them you are safe. Then, ask them to register you on Safe and Well accessible at http://www.redcross.org/. Web site allows those directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know of their well-being. For those without internet access, call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
Hurricane Ike devastated Haiti, causing many deaths. The American Red Cross has disaster responders on the ground in Haiti and the Bahamas to help our sister Red Cross societies speed relief aid to island communities affected by successive hurricanes in the Caribbean.
As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign is being launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, +P.O. Box 37243,Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting http://www.redcross.org/.
Photos|Kati Garner American Red Cross