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Red Cross helps Shelter Residents take first steps in recovery

Staff Writer
Alice Echo News Journal

HARLINGEN- More than a week after Hurricane Hanna made landfall, American Red Cross continues to provide relief and comfort to South Texas communities.

To support shelter residents on their path to long-term recovery, the Red Cross Shelter Resident Transition (SRT) team helps clients identify and overcome roadblocks that prevent a safe transition from an emergency shelter to more sustainable housing solutions.

SRT caseworkers meet with shelter residents one-on-one and empower them by supporting problem-solving and recovery planning solutions, as well as referrals to community partners who specialize in long-term recovery. Caseworkers begin meeting with shelter residents this week.

Those with non-emergency flood-related needs, including sheltering, are urged to call the American Red Cross at 1-800-REDCROSS Option 4. Service is available in English and Spanish.

Since July 25, 2020, more than 360 virtual and in-person Red Cross workers have:

Served more than 27,600 meals and snacks

Distributed more than 4,200 emergency relief supplies like clean-up kits with mops, bleach, trash bags, etc.

Provided 1,800 disaster health, mental health, spiritual care and disability consults

Provided more than 1,100 overnight stays in emergency shelters

All Red Cross shelters follow CDC guidelines with social distancing. In coordination with local officials, a health screening process is in effect for anyone coming into a shelter. Each shelter has been equipped with PPE kits containing masks, gloves, thermometers, gowns, hand sanitizer, etc.

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

Prescriptions and emergency medications

Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements

Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents

Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items

Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys

Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled

Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you

Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself

Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters. However, service animals are permitted and may stay with their owner in Red Cross shelters. Partner organizations make every effort to provide pet sheltering close to Red Cross shelters so pet owners can visit their pets frequently.

For help: Those with non-emergency flood-related needs are urged to call the American Red Cross at 1-800-REDCROSS Option 4. Service is available in English and Spanish.

Stay Safe: This year, hurricane season is anticipated to be 60 percent more active and the Red Cross is encouraging people to prepare by:

* Assembling an emergency preparedness kit

* Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets

* Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans

Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website

Downloading the Emergency App for your iPhone or for an Android by visiting redcross.org/apps.

Red Cross is in need of volunteers: To support response efforts to learn more and register online at redcross.org/volunteer.

Furry Friends need help too: When people leave their homes during an emergency, they take their pets with them. The Red Cross is looking for established partner organizations to support the pet sheltering effort.

How you an help: All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS.