Cooler, drier weather is providing a welcome break for Iowans who are working to clean up their flood-damaged homes, as well as for Red Cross workers who’ve also had a hectic couple of weeks. High water forced hundreds of Iowans from their homes from one corner of the state to the other.
So far, Red Cross spokeswoman Jennifer Pickar says 95 agency workers operating from four emergency response vehicles have handed out 200 hygiene kits, 750 home clean-up kits and 4,500 free meals.
“It’s quite an operation,” Pickar says. “We couldn’t do this without assistance from the public so we do encourage people to donate. You’re helping your neighbors through the Red Cross.” She says specially-trained teams are still fanned out across flooded areas doing damage assessment.
Pickar says, “We have had shelters open which now are transitioning more into meal sites, places where residents can pick up clean-up kits and booklets that help walk them through the process of rebuilding, returning to their homes, what they need to throw out, getting them on track for recovery.” She says people need to take care of themselves physically and emotionally and should consider the Red Cross as a shoulder to lean on.
“Reality is probably setting in a little bit more now that the floodwaters are starting to recede and they’re starting to see all of the work that they have ahead of them,” Pickar says. “We do have counselors available at different service sites in the affected communities but people can call in, too, to get help.”
To reach a counselor, to volunteer or to donate money, call 800-Red Cross, or visit “www.redcross.org“.
Photo courtesy of the Red Cross.