Nicole Breitbach, executive director of the agency’s Northeast Iowa Chapter in Dubuque, says they’re being assigned to the Saint Louis area. “We have seven volunteers heading down south from Iowa right now, two are actually leaving today,” Breitbach says, “and then we have one emergency response vehicle down in Missouri.”
That emergency response vehicle, or ERV, is from the Sioux City chapter. Breitbach says the Red Cross volunteers will likely be stationed in Missouri for two full weeks.
“They’ll be helping in a lot of different areas,” Breitbach says. “They’ll be helping in the shelters as well as in the emergency response vehicle, they may be doing some feeding and distributing items for cleaning up homes, such as mops, bleach, gloves, stuff like that.”
The Red Cross has volunteers deployed in six states due to recent severe storms, flooding and tornadoes. Overall, ten deaths are reported and hundreds of people were staying in shelters. Back in Iowa, there’s been an unusual number of structure fires lately and Red Cross volunteers are helping to make sure those who were displaced have safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support and health care.
“We’re really appreciative of all the work that we have with our volunteers,” Breitbach says. “We’ve had seven cities affected over the last few days with over 40 victims and families that we’re helping out right now.” The largest blaze was over the weekend in Marshalltown as a three-story apartment building with 21 units was destroyed.
There have also been two large fires in Cedar Rapids, with other fires in recent days in: Belmond, Burlington, Fort Dodge, Spencer, and Waterloo. Iowans who would like to help can make a donation at www.redcross.org, by calling 800-RED CROSS or by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.