By Wayne Allen
When it comes to responding to disasters, both small and large, the American Red Cross is there to meet the needs of the community and individuals. With the recent rains, some parts of the region became flooded and the Red Cross responded.
The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross’s coverage area includes Scioto, Jackson, Lawrence, Adams and Brown counties. As a result of the recent rains, the Red Cross responded in a variety of ways to meeting the unique needs of each community.
Debbie Smith, community executive of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, said the response included serving food to more than 500 people. Providing assistance to 106 families and 304 individuals. The Red Cross also distributed 111 clean-up kits to those in need. Clean-up kits include a variety of cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket, sponges, rubber gloves, squeegees, Clorox bleach, various disinfectants and more.
“The last update I had, as of yesterday, we’ve had 81 families that we’ve helped with flooding in our area. When compared to last year, all of last year we responded to 165 local disasters,” Smith said.
When it comes to next steps, Smith said caseworkers are beginning work with individual families, helping them to determine their immediate and long term recovery needs. Estimated cost of response is estimated to be over $100,000. Fluor-B&W recently donated $1,500 to the Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in Jackson County.
“Eighty-nine households were affected in the Jackson area and many of the families do not have flood insurance,” she said.
Smith said the Red Cross response in Jackson County included the opening of a shelter at the Wellston Intermediate School to provide immediate food, clothing, temporary shelter and other supplies as needed. It’s estimated that it’s been 20 years since the area has seen this type of rain which resulted in flooding.
Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by donations of time and money. Donations can be mailed to 1801 Robinson Ave. Portsmouth OH 45662, or visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.