RICHMOND, Va. -- Red Cross volunteers from Central Virginia are headed to Texas to help in the agency's relief effort to provide shelter, food and comfort to people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Nine volunteers are in Texas to assist with flooding and the team also deployed a feeding truck Sunday morning.
"The Red Cross family is one team," Jonathan McNamara, Regional Communications Director, said. "We will support the emergency where ever there is a need."
Here is some information from the Red Cross:
• More than 1,400 people took refuge from the deadly storm Friday night in 24 Red Cross and community shelters. Evacuation orders remain in effect in Texas and Louisiana. The storm is expected to continue to produce life-threatening rain – estimated to be anywhere between 1 and 3 feet in places – through the middle of next week. More than 40 additional shelters are on standby if needed.
• The Red Cross is working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in both Texas and Louisiana to coordinate potential response efforts.
• Shelters are also on stand-by in Arkansas for people who may evacuate into the state and the Red Cross is working with officials there to coordinate any response that may be needed.
• There are hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from across the country on the ground now to support our shelters, and thousands more will be asked to deploy in the weeks to come as people begin to recover from the storm.
• The Red Cross has tractor trailer loads of relief supplies in the region – enough to support more than 20,000 people for weeks. The supplies include cots, blankets, ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits and cleaning supplies.
• The Red Cross is also mobilizing its disaster partners to support feeding, child care, disaster assessment and other disaster services.
• More than 125 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated with 232 additional ERVs enroute.
• In addition, the Red Cross has prepositioned blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure we can maintain an adequate blood supply over the weekend. We are also staging additional blood inventory in Dallas as well in case of cancelled flights or severe flooding.
• Harvey is the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004. The storm has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, but is still expected to bring up to 40 inches of rain in some areas over the next several days, causing devastating flooding in the region, along with wind damage, power outages and damage to communities’ infrastructure. Some areas may be uninhabitable for a long period of time.
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
• Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
• The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.
• The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check
We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.
• It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. In contrast, financial donations can be accessed quickly to support those affected, and be put to use right away. With a financial donation, individuals can buy what they need and want.
• Storing donated items can also result in thousands of dollars in warehousing, cleaning, transportation and handling fees – whereas financial donations allow us to be flexible to give those directly affected by Harvey what they need most.
• Our first priority is the safety and well-being of those affected by disasters. Unfortunately, some well-intentioned donations of clothing or other items may be inadvertently soiled or dirty, which can cause illness. Financial donations don’t pose any health risks and can be used right away to replace items like medications and reading glasses.
• Before collecting or dropping off donations of food, clothing or household items, please call to see if these items are needed. On some occasions, the Red Cross will accept donations, except for homemade food, at our shelters.