Local Red Cross volunteers assisting with California, Illinois and Canada disaster relief

by | August 1, 2017 2:30 am

Last Updated: July 31, 2017 at 4:34 pm

A dozen American Red Cross volunteers and staff are deploying to two states and Canada to support Red Cross relief efforts in response to flooding and wildfires. The Red Cross is closely coordinating with emergency management to open and support shelters as people are forced to flee from their homes—hundreds of people have spent the night at five Red Cross and partner shelters in California and three in Illinois while the Canadian Red Cross is supporting the government operated shelters in British Columbia.
The Red Cross disaster services volunteers from South Carolina bring a variety of specialized disaster response skills to the teams that are coming together from across the country to assist those impacted by the floods and fires. Some of the work will include operating shelters to house families displaced by floods, logistics and managing the overall disaster response, and working within government operations.
“Our volunteers are dedicated to helping families when they need it most, whether here in their local community or across the county,” said Louise Welch Williams, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Red Cross in South Carolina. “When they heard that help was needed in Louisiana, they immediately volunteered to assist the people displaced by the flooding.”
Over the next several days, the Red Cross will continue to work closely with its community partners and local government to support the needs of the affected communities. This includes supporting shelter operations to provide a safe and dry place to stay; providing meals and needed comfort and relief items; offering emotional and health support; conducting damage assessments and identifying community needs, coordinating with local government and community partners to meet the needs of the affected areas; and communicating with the public, partners, and clients on the importance of preparedness information and how to deal with the disaster from potential flooding, what to do during floods and what to do after a flood.

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