As flood waters recede and needs change, so does the Red Cross service delivery plan. While visiting an evacuated community in West Alton where clean up supplies were being delivered, it was discovered that more than 80 people, who had not evacuated or had been able to return home, were in need of food.
On one side of Hwy 67 there is a community whose homes were not completely flooded, several feet of water in the basements was not keeping their homes from being livable, but the only road to reach them is still flooded out. They have been boating over to Parsons Pit Stop for supplies as needed. Additionally, on the drier side of the Hwy, more families have been waiting patiently as their utilities are slowly being restored. When talking to Chris Redd from the Rivers Pointe Fire District , Red Cross volunteers found an unmet need and were able to immediately provide the relief needed.
That very evening, a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle delivered 100 meals to provide dinner, and beginning 1/5/16 until such time as we are no longer needed, lunch and dinner will be provided to the community.
Walt Davis is a Red Cross volunteer from Kansas City, and has been part of the Emergency Response team delivering meals to an isolated population. The Red Cross delivers between 50 and 60 meals each day to a boat, which then makes it’s way to Kaskaskia Island residents who have been stranded since massive flooding closed the only bridge connecting the island to the rest of the community.
“We use whatever we need to get the food those who need it. It’s certainly the most unusual delivery I’ve ever made for the Red Cross,” Walt said. “High water won’t stop us from helping those in need.”
Since the beginning of the New Year, Red Cross has provided more than 21,000 meals and snacks to people whose lives have been interrupted by this disaster.
At this time, the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri is fortunate to have volunteers who are trained, ready and willing to support our response to the flooding in our communities. We thank individuals and community groups who are willing to support this effort and encourage them to register to become new volunteers to help with future disaster responses.
Learn more and register online at redcross.org/volunteer and complete the online application.
LOUIS, MO, Monday, January 4, 2016 – American Red Cross volunteers are going through neighborhoods providing meals and cleanup kits for those affected by the massive flooding that struck portions of Missouri and Illinois.
Anyone needing flood-related assistance should call the Red Cross at 314-516-2700 or United Way 2-1-1 for additional resources.
On Monday, the Red Cross is operating shelters in Arnold and Cape Girardeau in Missouri and Granite City and Murphysboro in Illinois.
So far the Red Cross has provided 641 overnight stays in shelters and 19,410 meals and snacks in response to this flooding.
“Our focus continues to be providing comfort and assistance to those who suffered in this massive flooding,” said Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO, Red Cross of Eastern Missouri. “Again, we want to thank everyone who has taken time to help those in need. We couldn’t do it without you.”
Red Cross disaster assessment teams continue checking flood damage to homes to help determine the extent and location of assistance needed. Red Cross volunteers also will be meeting with those affected to help them plan their next steps in the recovery process.
Communication is critical during a disaster, and most often it’s limited. Amateur Radio operators, also known as ham operators, are many times the only source for getting critical information from a disaster back into the headquarters. Red Cross has many great volunteer partners who have been working tirelessly to keep the communication open from multiple shelter locations, providing details about the needs of the affected community.
Disaster response and the coordination of services are possible because of partnerships like this. Volunteers, like Steve and Bill, who donate their time, equipment, and skills are working tirelessly to keep lines of communication open around the clock.
Photo: Steve Cole – Volunteer Amateur Radio operator from St. Louis & Suburban radio club (SLSRC) and Bill Meunier – ARES
Photographer: K.N. Holderby, Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer
Sunday, January 3, marks one week since Tamara and her family were rescued from the floodwaters that quickly overtook their home. As she was being whisked to safety with her children, Tamera was scared and uncertain about what would happen next. “I didn’t know where we would go and I knew there was no money to pay for a motel. We didn’t even have a car anymore,” she said. When she and her family stepped out of the boat, there were people there who gave them hope. Directing them to a bus, which took them to the Red Cross Shelter a few miles away in Granite City, MO.
That night, there were 90 people who sought shelter together, and today there are still many people, like Tamara and her family, who continue to need the Red Cross shelter. “The water is going down, but not quickly,” said Tamara. “We just don’t know when we will be able to go home, and worse than that, is the feeling that we don’t know what we will be going home to.”
Red Cross continues to provide a warm dry place to sleep for these families whose lives are riddled with uncertainty. “The volunteers have been so comforting and kind. Just knowing we don’t have to worry about where we will sleep and how we will feed the kids is truly a relief,” said Tamara. “We can focus on what we can do to move forward since we don’t have to worry about these basic needs.”
This comfort, provided by the Red Cross, is only possible through the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. It is only possible because of YOU. Your monetary gift is transformed into a hot meal, a dry warm blanket; Hope.
*Granite City Shelter
Photographer: K.N. Holderby, Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer
Written, filmed, and edited By: Christina Cody, Communications Intern
American Red Cross volunteers and employees came together on July 4th to not only celebrate the birth of our country, but to also proudly represent one of the nation’s biggest humanitarian organizations, and represent they did! The Veiled Prophet parade took place early Saturday morning inside Forest Park. Band members, street performers, pageant winners, and volunteers all marched from the upper Muny to the St. Louis Zoo. The energy was strong and flags were high as parade goers marched with pride as the crowd cheered with joy. It was a great day of entertainment for the entire family. The Red Cross volunteers sure know how to show up and show out, and hopefully next year we’ll see some new faces!
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Written by: Jeff Revisky I’m employed at Scott Air Force Base and have been working with the military for 34 years, including the time I served in the Army and my current work as a government employee/security manager. My family recently returned from Germany where my son, Kyle, attended school on base, so my family is very familiar with military life, and consequently, very familiar with the Red Cross.
This year on October 3, at 4:55 am my wife and I received the call every parent dreads. It was the chaplain at St. Louis University Hospital advising us to get the hospital as fast as we could because our son Kyle had been in a terrible car accident. Knowing nothing else, we drove to the hospital. They allowed us to see Kyle for a minute before rushing him to surgery. Doctors were trying to stabilize him and determine his injuries. Later, we learned, in darkness and pouring rain, he had totaled his car on the interstate. When Kyle got out of his car, he was struck by an oncoming car going 65-70 mph.
We immediately began contacting family, still not knowing if Kyle would survive. We called our son Justin and told him his brother had been in a car accident. Justin wanted to come home, and we needed him home. The only way we knew to get Justin home was through the Red Cross.
The chaplain gave us the number for the Red Cross; we called and they immediately went to work behind the scenes, doing all the leg work, so we could focus on our son.
In just a few hours, the Red Cross had helped Justin complete everything he needed, and by 1 p.m. the following day, Justin was home. During that time, the Red Cross contacted us several times to make sure everything was progressing as it should. Amazingly, Kyle knew Justin was there; Justin gave Kyle the support that only a brother can give. Although not here long, Justin was home long enough to see his brother come off the life support.
My family is forever grateful to the Red Cross for supporting our family though this tragedy, but we know the Red Cross is always there for the military families– all over the world, providing support 24/7. We can never repay them for what they have done for us, so on behalf of our family and our soldier, Justin, THANK YOU! Thank you for your dedication to our military and their families. You will forever hold a place in our hearts and your act of kindness will never be forgotten.