People, Pets Provided with a Safe Place to Stay, Warm Meals to Eat
“I feel safe.” Southport, North Carolina resident and Northeast Ohio native Sue Fogle made a point of seeking out Red Cross workers at the shelter at a shelter in Shallotte, North Carolina on Friday, October 7, 2016 to express her appreciation for the treatment she and her husband and son received from the Red Cross and its partners.
She and her husband Gary and son Randy were taking refuge from Hurricane Matthew at the storm bore down on the southeastern part of the state.
“It’s not like I’m living in the lap of luxury, but it’s more than I expected,” Sue said as she spoke with Red Cross volunteer Margo Smickles. She said she expected to sleep on the floor, and did not expect to be fed, but she and all the residents at the shelter received cots, blankets, and three warm meals a day during their stay.
In addition to the 120 people at the shelter, there were 12 dogs, 3 cats and two birds. The animals were kept separate from the human population, in a room far from the sleeping area, and were monitored by Animal Protective Service Officers. Almost 100 residents stayed in the shelter Friday night, as strong winds and heavy bands of rain began to pound parts of southeastern North Carolina. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, 120 residents were taking refuge at the shelter. Many were drawn by the shelter’s long-running offer to house pets.
“It’s just something Animal Protective Services has been doing for a long time,” said Lori Bork, Shelter Manager. Other partners assisting the Red Cross with shelter operations included Brunswick County Social Services, Brunswick County Health and Human Services, the Brunswick County School District and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office.
By Saturday morning, the Fogle family were among more than 18,000 people who woke up in 183 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across four states, more than during the height of Superstorm Sandy.
More than 2,200 trained disaster workers, including more than two dozen from Northeast Ohio, were mobilized to respond to the needs of residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew. More volunteers are needed. If you are interested in helping the residents affected by Hurricane Matthew, click here.
The Red Cross also deployed 95 emergency response vehicles, 4 from Northeast Ohio, and pre-positioned 94 trailers stocked with relief supplies including water, ready-to-eat meals, cleaning items and comfort kits, insect repellent, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. As soon as it is safe to do so, the Red Cross will be coordinating with partners to support people as they return home.
The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief to residents affected by disasters like Hurricane Matthew. If you’d like to help, visit redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross