HOUSTON, September 26, 2019– More than 400 American Red Cross disaster workers are working around the clock in Texas, helping people impacted by the catastrophic flooding from Tropical Depression Imelda.

Wednesday night more than 360 people sought refuge in 10 Red Cross and community shelters in Texas. Working with the Texas Baptist Men, the Red Cross has served more than 15,000 meals and snacks. To date, volunteers have distributed more than 9,000 relief supplies including comfort kits with hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap as well clean-up kits.

Red Cross mental health volunteers have made over 1,900 mental health, spiritual care, and health-related contacts with flood survivors.  The Red Cross is working with state and local government partners to ensure help is available where needed. To find the open shelters near you click here.  

Red Cross Public Affairs team member Brittney Rochell plays with Joseph at the New Light Shelter in Houston. Joseph and his family had to be rescued from their home as flood waters were lapping at their front door after Tropical Storm Imelda hit the area last week.

The Red Cross urges people who may be impacted to follow these safety steps.

After a Flood:

  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Let friends and family know you’re safe. Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website
  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require special assistance—children, seniors, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, those with disabilities and the people who care for them.
  • Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water. Report them immediately to the power company.
  • If any gas or electrical appliances were flooded, don’t use them until they have been checked for safety.
  • Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water.
  • Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents for insurance purposes.

More information, including a flood safety checklist in several languages, is available here.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross is a United Way agency that shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/texasgulfcoast or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter or Facebook at @RedCrossTXGC.