American Red Cross helps disaster-stricken areas

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The American Red Cross is helping those affected by dire weather conditions, including those in Alaska, Puerto Rico and Texas, and will continue to be there to help over the next few days, said declared the non-profit group.

Alaska—Typhoon Merbok
The American Red Cross is responding to western Alaska where Typhoon Merbok hit this weekend, causing flooding powerful enough to uproot buildings and forcing residents to seek shelter.

The Red Cross and its partners remain committed to supporting communities as the full significance of this event unfolds. Out-of-state Red Cross relief workers arrived in Anchorage last week along with others en route to support this operation. The nonprofit has identified communities on the West Coast of Alaska that need help and is working with community leaders to deliver help where it’s needed most.

Red Cross teams are working to ensure there will be a safe place to stay, food to eat and emotional support for those affected. In Alaska, shelters are run by government and community groups, and the Red Cross is preparing to support them if needed. As with every disaster, the Red Cross recognizes that the response is a team effort and that no organization can do it alone, and it will coordinate with officials and emergency management to help those affected.

Puerto Rico—Hurricane Fiona
The American Red Cross has relief teams in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to help those affected by Hurricane Fiona which caused catastrophic flooding, landslides and left the entire island of Puerto Rico without electricity.

In Puerto Rico, the government is opening and running emergency shelters. Reports say more than 120 shelters are open, many in schools powered by solar micro-grids installed with a Red Cross contribution of nearly $1.5 million after Hurricane Maria devastated Porto Rico in 2017.

Red Cross-trained relief workers will help assess the damage when it is safe and work with authorities to determine what further assistance is needed.

Before Hurricane Fiona made landfall, the Red Cross pre-positioned blood products to support hospitals in Puerto Rico. On Monday, the Red Cross sent additional units of platelets to support patients there. Platelets have a short shelf life of only five days. The Red Cross is urging people living in unaffected areas to donate blood and platelets by visiting RedCrossBlood.org. It is important to remember that responding to disasters is a team effort and no organization can do it alone. The Red Cross will coordinate with officials and emergency management to assist those affected.

Texas Gulf Coast Region — House Fires
Since September 1, Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross teams have responded to support 62 families, assisting more than 190 people with their recovery process and urgent needs such as food, shelter and medical assistance. aids in recovery after suffering a home fire. Last week (since 12 September), Red Cross teams intervened with 25 families affected by house fires and helped 75 people.

Craig Fugate, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Obama administration, presented a NACS webinar on how to plan and prepare for emergencies and how to use emergency planning and memory aids from the NACS Convenience Store. The resource is designed to help troubleshooters quickly and efficiently determine the best course of action for their teams to plan for an emergency and resume operations quickly and safely.

For more disaster planning resources, articles from NACS magazine, and podcast episodes of Convenience Matters, check out the NACS Disaster and Emergency Preparedness topic page.

NACS partners with the American Red Cross through its signature Response Relief: 24/7 Day program. This July 24 (24/7 Day), the NACS Foundation United convenience stores across America recognizing the first responders, medical personnel, and volunteers of the American Red Cross who work 24/7, serving our communities to ensure that people are not alone in the face of emergencies.

Convenience stores are often the only retailers that stay open during a crisis, serving both first responders and communities in need. The annual event helps raise awareness and donate for the American Red Cross’ urgent humanitarian needs and highlights the important role our industry plays in supporting local heroes and the communities we serve.

Learn more about how you can join NACS’ mission to amplify the good work done every day in the local communities where we live and work by participating next year 24/7.

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