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NW Red Cross disaster responders busy in Texas, Florida

And hurricanes' ravages may not be over

 Disaster responders from the American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (Cascades Region) are on the ground in Texas and Florida helping communities devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with shelter, food, water, cleanup supplies and recovery assistance. 

Responders from Saint Helens, Grants Pass, Williams, Portland, Bend, Eugene, Keizer, Junction City, Dallas, Salem, Florence, Tigard, Medford, Vernonia, Springfield, Monmouth and Camas, Washington, are assisting affected communities by working in disaster relief shelters, delivering food and water to affected neighborhoods, providing emergency financial assistance, helping with family reunification, and delivering health and mental health services to people in need. 

Southwest Oregon Chapter Executive Director, Carisa Hettich traveled from her home in Eugene to Houston, where she started out helping at a 2,000-person relief shelter and is now traveling in an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to deliver food, water and cleanup supplies in communities that need help. 

"There is extreme devastation here. People's possessions are piled on the side of the road, destroyed by floodwaters," said Hettich. "They have nothing and are grateful for all we are doing to help. I can't erase the damage but I can give people a warm meal, water and a hug to let them know it's going to be ok."

Red Cross volunteer responder Judy Kimmons drove from her home in Medford across the country in an ERV to help people affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida. 

"Thousands of people are without power, billboards are ripped down and strewn across the highway and boats have been thrown from the water and onto the shore," Kimmons said. "We've been focused on getting food to people without electricity and are bracing for other storms on the horizon." 

The American Red Cross has launched a wide-ranging relief effort to provide safe shelter, food and comfort to people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Red Cross is part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to those in need. 

HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA 
In the last three weeks, the Red Cross and community partners have provided more than 934,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters due to hurricanes. Shelters were opened in eight states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
The Red Cross has served more than 3 million meals and snacks to people in need. 
More than 6,400 Red Cross disaster workers and almost 300 emergency response vehicles are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these storms. 
More than 73 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

HURRICANE HARVEY 
Overnight, more than 4,600 people stayed in 25 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas and Louisiana. To date, there have been nearly 394,000 overnight shelter stays provided for Hurricane Harvey. 
Along with our partners, we have served more than 2.3 million meals and snacks in Texas and Louisiana. 
More than 3,500 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Texas and Louisiana, with almost 280 more on the way. 
More than 170 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies across the hardest hit areas of Texas and Louisiana. 
Mental health and health services professionals have provided nearly 76,000 contacts to provide support and care to people in Texas and Louisiana. 
We've distributed nearly 655,000 relief items, such as diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items, in Texas and Louisiana. 
The Red Cross has already distributed $45 million in financial assistance to more than 100,000 qualified households who needed immediate help. This assistance has helped more than 365,000 people including more than 10,000 households headed by military veterans. 

HURRICANE IRMA 
Overnight, almost 3,600 people were provided refuge in 55 government and Red Cross shelters across Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes: 
In Florida, more than 3,200 people in 47 evacuation shelters. 
In Georgia, 24 people in one shelter. 
On the U.S. Virgin Islands, 162 people in four evacuation shelters. 
In Puerto Rico, more than 182 people in three evacuation shelters. 
To date, evacuation centers have provided more than half a million (541,000) overnight stays to people needing a safe place to go. 
Along with our partners, we have served more than 747,000 meals and snacks across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
We've distributed more than 88,000 relief items, such as diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
Mental health and health services professionals have provided more than 16,000 contacts to provide support and care to those affected across six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
Nearly 3,000 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now, with more than 300 more volunteers on the way. 
More than 120 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help. 

HOW TO HELP: 
The Red Cross has launched massive responses to these devastating storms and needs financial donations to be able to provide immediate disaster relief for those affected. 
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. 
Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA 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 Irma or Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.


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