Homes Remain Under Water Weeks After Hurricane Matthew Hits Land

Thousands of people in the southeast continue to deal with the effects of Hurricane Matthew more than two weeks after the storm made landfall. We are with them, providing food, shelter and help with recovery. The Red Cross and partners have already served more than 1.3 million meals and snacks and provided more overnight shelter stays than after Superstorm Sandy. The massive response is far from over, and Red Cross workers will support those affected for as long as help is needed.

 

As we continue to provide critical relief to those affected by Hurricane Matthew, the Red Cross will begin helping residents start the recovery process by connecting them to services and resources they need. A good first step is to register with FEMA, as there is federal assistance available to help people recover. For those who do not qualify for federal disaster assistance, the Red Cross is able to provide limited financial assistance to ensure that they have access to additional support.

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Teresa Bellamy of Fair Bluff, N.C.

In the U.S. alone, the response to Hurricane Matthew is anticipated to cost between approximately $24 – $28 million. At present, we have raised only $8.1 million in designated donations and pledges for Hurricane Matthew—so we need the public’s support to help the thousands of people still suffering.

The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting 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.

Volunteering Spans Generations for One Red Cross Family

Grandfather, Grandson in North Carolina Helping with Hurricane Response

Alejandro Reynoso is trying to teach his grandson a lesson. His classroom is a Red Cross emergency response vehicle.

Mr. Reynoso and his grandson, 18-year old Dominic drove the ERV from Arizona to North Carolina to help people affected by Hurricane Matthew.

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“I think we should all take some time to contribute to society,” Mr. Reynoso says.  “It’s more of a duty.”

Dominic just graduated from high school, and isn’t sure what he wants to do in the future.  But for the present, he and his grandfather are busy dishing out bratwurst and baked beans, canned pears and potato chips to North Carolina residents impacted by flooding and other storm damage.

They make a good team.

“That lady told me she hadn’t eaten in three days,” Dominic says of one flood-affected resident, who received food prepared by the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization.  He gave her two meals and a case of bottled water.  “She said she has no water either.”img_2663

Mr. Reynoso is a Vietnam veteran who left his engineering firm to volunteer in North Carolina.  “That’s the price you pay.  It’s unconditional.  The reward is being asked to come back.”

That is the lesson he hopes to impart on his grandson.

If you would like to volunteer for the Red Cross, log onto redcross.org.

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Photos and story: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Recovery Continues on East Coast

Twelve days have passed since Hurricane Matthew made landfall in the United States.  Many areas remain flooded. 26 Red Cross shelters remain open, with over 1,400 individuals seeking lodging there on Monday night.

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As waters begin to recede, the second stage of the Red Cross recovery efforts will begin. We will start to work with those affected to provide navigation through the web of assistance available to them, not just through the Red Cross, but through other organizations such as FEMA.

 

Some of our img_2537volunteers are out in communities – as conditions permit – across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida to provide warm meals and relief supplies. Some are on the ground accessing the damages to homes (a step necessary for a family to obtain financial assistance), while others begin to meet with families and individuals to help them map out their own recovery process.

img_2526All told, the Red Cross has mobilized almost 5,000 disaster workers, 235 response vehicles, 19 partner-supported kitchens as well as truckloads of water, ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets, kitchen items, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more.

Overall, Red Cross and community partners have served more than 931,000 meals and snacks, distributed more than 187,000 relief items, supported more than 19,000 health and mental health services, and provided 93,000 overnight stays in shelters.

How can you help?

MAKE A DONATION – The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting 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.

GIVE BLOOD – We’d also like to ask public to remember the blood needs of the Red Cross. Hurricane Matthew has already forced the cancellation of many blood drives along the East Coast, and more could be cancelled. If you’re in an unaffected area, please give blood or platelets now, so we can continue to help patients in need. Go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER – People can make a difference in someone’s life by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. To join us, visit redcross.org/neo and click on VOLUNTEER today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. To learn more about national deployment, read this story.

 

Volunteers from Across the U.S. Help in N.C.

Red Cross volunteers have come from all over the U. S. to help residents affected by flooding following Hurricane Matthew. About three dozen workers are from Northeast Ohio

Flooding in North Carolina is expected to persist through the weekend, as rivers continue to crest six days post-hurricane.

At the Western Prong Baptist Church in Whiteville, North Carolina on Thursday, October 13, volunteers from several states arrived in Emergency Response Vehicles to deliver meals prepared at the mobile kitchen set up by the Southern Baptist Convention.

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A dozen states were represented by Red Cross volunteers, who traveled to North Carolina, some of them driving for days, to help residents by distributing food, water, and clean-up kits.

Volunteers came o the kitchen in ERVs from Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.  They have been trained by the Red Cross to help deliver mass care during disasters.

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New volunteers can be trained to drive ERVs, run shelters, and many more essential services provided by the Red Cross during times of crisis.  If you’re interested, log onto  redcross.org/neo and click the volunteer tab to begin the application process.

Volunteer Stories: Why They Give Back

North Carolina Residents Help Their Neighbors Following Hurricane Matthew

Leween and James McIntosh joined hands with members of a family who had taken refuge from Hurricane Matthew inside a shelter at a school in Bergaw, North Carolina, and said grace.  The Red Cross volunteers then joined the family for a Sunday dinner of Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and beans, prepared by school cafeteria workers.

It will be some time before the family of India Davis will have a home cooked meal.  Their home was destroyed by a tree that fell during the storm.

“It’s a miracle no one was hurt,” said the grandmother of two rambunctious boys.

red-cross-volunteers-james-and-leween-mcintosh-assist-india-davis-at-a-shelter-in-bergaw-nc-after-her-house-was-destroyed-by-hurricane-matthewThe McIntoshes are Red Cross caseworkers who helped the Davis family obtain initial assistance, and who will help them develop a plan for recovering from the losses they suffered.  They have been Red Cross volunteers for just over a year.

Following Sunday supper, Red Cross volunteers Luis Diaz and his son Eric got busy assembling cots for the night ahead, while Luis’ wife Anabela completed required paperwork.  The Diaz family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina from New York several years ago, for the lower cost-of-living and better schools. Luis says he began volunteering with the Red Cross 10 years ago.  He started as a community relations liaison, and now helps people during disasters.

“I wanted to give back to the community.”

It wasn’t long before Anabela began to volunteer as well. She, too wanted to give back.

“I liked the activities, what he was doing, and what he was giving to the community.”

Their son Eric became a volunteer when he turned 18.

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Volunteers like the McIntosh and Diaz families are essential to the mission of the American Red Cross. More than 90% of the Red Cross workforce is comprised of volunteers, people who, like the McIntosh and Diaz family help their neighbors when disaster strikes.

Log onto redcross.org to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

In addition, we will host a four hour session on how you can volunteer to assist those affected by Hurricane Matthew, and other disasters, this Friday, October 14 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Greater Cleveland office at 3747 Euclid Ave.

Reserve a seat by emailing luis.rivera@redcross.org or call 216-426-7549.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Northeast Ohio Natives Ride Out Hurricane Matthew in a Red Cross Shelter

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.
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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.

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Sue and Gary Fogle

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