Red Cross Responding to Nor’easter - Volunteers Providing Food, Shelter and Comfort
WASHINGTON — The American Red Cross is expanding its disaster response in the wake of a powerful Nor’easter that swept across the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, leaving heavy snow, extensive flooding and widespread power outages.
“We want to stress that people need to be safe and not wait to evacuate,” said Joe Becker, American Red Cross senior vice president for preparedness and response in Washington, D.C. “This storm isn’t over and some areas are already seeing the worst flooding in years. People need to listen to their local authorities and not wait to evacuate. And don’t drive through flowing water. That can be treacherous!”
Red Cross chapters have been in contact with local emergency management agencies, have been alerting volunteers and have been preparing to open shelters.
Up to eight inches of rain fell in some areas, leading to urban and river flooding, while high winds in coastal areas from North Carolina to Maine created shoreline flooding and erosion hazards. In the interior of New York and Vermont, the precipitation came in the form of 12-16 inches of snow.
Volunteers in West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine opened dozens of shelters Sunday, providing warm, safe accommodations, food and comfort to hundreds of people. Additional shelters are ready to open if needed in those states as well as in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Red Cross volunteers in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina are sheltering, feeding and comforting the victims of tornadoes and straight-line windstorms that struck there.
Trained disaster volunteers are being deployed from unaffected chapters across the eastern United States to ramp up the response as weather forecasts call for high winds and additional rain, snow and flooding along the eastern seaboard. In addition to shelters, Red Cross volunteers will be providing food, beverages, physical and mental health care and family casework to help affected residents assess their needs in the wake of the disaster.
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