One of the biggest services that the Red Cross provides during a disaster, big or small, is sheltering.  This recent flooding brought on by strong storms is a good example of how the Red Cross supports the community when its residents are displaced.  A safe place to sleep, meals, spiritual care and mental health are the top priorities each time a shelter is opened.

On Saturday, one shelter remained open as the day came to a close.  One of the clients who sought shelter at St. Thomas More Church was separated from most of her family after their apartment flooded, sending them in different directions in search of temporary housing.  With the help of a Red Cross interpreter she told her story.

Jackie Heinl and James Plank manage the St. Thomas More shelter.

“First responders were telling them to leave the house, their house was an unsafe place to be,” said spiritual care worker Fernando Fernandez.

In light of her situation, the shelter manager called Fernando to offer spiritual care to help her through this time of separation from her family.  He also told her about the Safe and Well website offered by the Red Cross which allows people affected by a disaster to enter information regarding their welfare so family and friends can check their status.  She is especially worried about being separated from her daughter as Mother’s Day approaches.

Fernando is hoping the website will connect the two.  “What better gift for Mother’s Day than to see your daughter,” Fernando said.

To learn more about Red Cross Safe and Well visit: