WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is supporting rescue operations in Colorado by providing food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people forced from their homes by devastating flash flooding.
Red Cross disaster workers are at the Boulder airport reception center to provide care and comfort as stranded residents arrive after being airlifted out of flooded neighborhoods and towns. Sunday night, as many as 1,000 people stayed in 24 shelters across the state.
"The Red Cross is making sure that people in Colorado get the help they need," said Richard Reed, senior vice president of Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. "We're expanding our relief efforts as more workers, equipment and supplies arrive – and we'll be on the ground for weeks to come helping people recover."
The Red Cross is working closely with local emergency management officials, the Colorado National Guard and community organizations to ensure people get the help they need. More than 250 trained Red Cross disaster workers are deployed to Colorado, along with more than 20 emergency response vehicles and six trucks of relief supplies. Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross has served more than 7,100 meals and snacks.
Government officials estimate as many as 18,000 homes are affected by the Colorado flooding. Access to some communities remains difficult due to flood waters and damaged roads. As these areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute relief supplies and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.
Flooding has also caused numerous evacuations in New Mexico and Texas and Red Cross workers are helping people in those states, providing shelter, meals and comfort for those affected. More than 50 people spent Sunday night in four shelters in New Mexico and Texas. The region continues to be a relief priority for the Red Cross as more rain is expected in the area from tropical storm systems over the next few days.
HOW TO HELP People across the flooded areas need help now. The Red Cross has launched a massive relief effort to help people in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas and needs the continued support of the public to help those affected. People can make a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone's local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
SAFETY TIPS If someone's neighborhood is affected by flooding, or they are able to return home and begin cleaning up, the Red Cross has steps they can follow to stay safe. Most important is that people should avoid floodwaters whether walking or driving. Turn around and go another way. People should also keep curious children out of the water. More safety information is available at the link above.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross