WASHINGTON, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thousands of people across five states are facing blizzards, wildfires and floods, with more than 1,100 American Red Cross disaster workers on the ground providing emergency services to support those affected.
A spate of spring storms have brought flooding, fires, and blizzards to five states, leaving more than 515 people on Wednesday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Weather experts say more snow and rain is expected in the affected areas, along with additional critical wildfire conditions, over the next several days.
"The Red Cross is responding to disasters across a massive area of the country and is spending millions of dollars to provide relief," said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "Working with community partners, emergency shelters have been open for more than two weeks, and we're also providing food, relief supplies and emotional support to families forced from their homes with only what they could carry."
Since March 8, Red Cross volunteers have been working alongside community partners to provide 4,200 overnight stays in 60 shelters; serve 194,000 meals and snacks; and distribute 80,000 relief items including comfort kits and cleaning supplies to help people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas impacted by floods. See more on the Red Cross response in this video.
Meanwhile in Colorado, heavy snow led to blizzard conditions and hundreds of stranded motorists spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters where they had a warm place to sleep and food to eat. Additionally, wildfires are burning in Kansas and Texas, where several communities are being threatened with evacuations. The Red Cross is closely monitoring these disasters to ensure people get the help they need, and Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock to provide support, care, and comfort to thousands of those affected.
"The Red Cross needs the public to help us support families suffering from disasters right now," continued Kieserman. "We haven't raised anywhere near the millions of dollars we're spending to provide help and our work is really just beginning."
Anyone who wants to help people affected by disasters like flooding, wildfires and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
The Red Cross estimates that spending will fall between $5.5 million and $10 million to help people affected by spring floods and storms across Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. This is an evolving disaster and these figures are preliminary estimates that are likely to change.
Another way people can help is to become a Red Cross volunteer. The donated time and talent of a Red Cross volunteer can make a real difference in people's lives. Go to redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: American Airlines; Anthem Foundation; Boise Paper; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Disney; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx Corporation; The Home Depot; Humble Bundle; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Merck Foundation; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Target; UPS; VSP℠ Vision care for life; and Walmart and the Walmart Foundation.
ADGP $500,000 members are: 3M; Altria Group; American Express; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Aon; Bank of America; BNY Mellon; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Darden Restaurants Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Farmers Insurance; Ford Motor Company; Grainger; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; Medtronic; Meijer; Mondelēz International Foundation; National Grid; PepsiCo Foundation; Prudential Foundation; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Southwest Airlines; Sprint; Sunoco; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; United Technologies Corporation; Visa; Wawa; and Wells Fargo.
Disaster Responder Program members are: Alcoa; Almost Family; Astellas USA Foundation; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA; Ball Foundation; BHP Billiton; CarMax; The Clorox Company; Cox Automotive; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; General Motors Foundation; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; Hi-Rez Studios; HP Company Foundation; IBM Corporation; IKEA; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; Interstate All Battery Center; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; Marsh & McLennan Companies; MetLife Foundation; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; New Balance Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; PSEG Foundation; PuroClean Disaster Recovery; Red Heart Yarns; Residence Inn by Marriott; Ryder; Sealed Air; Servpro Industries Inc.; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc.; T O Y O T A; U.S. Bank; and U-Haul International.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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SOURCE American Red Cross