Updated August 6, 9:30 a.m.
HARLINGEN, July 25, 2020 – The American Red Cross has opened several emergency shelters as Hurricane Hanna threatens South Texas communities.
Red Cross volunteers have mobilized supplies, staffed shelters and are prepared to provide meals, a safe dry place to sleep and emotional support for those in harm’s way.
For the most up to date shelter information visit redcross.org >GET HELP > Find an open shelter.
Those with non-emergency flood-related needs, including sheltering, are urged to call the American Red Cross at 1-800-REDCROSS option 4. Service is available in English and Spanish.
ADDITIONAL SHELTER INFORMATION
The shelters will follow CDC guidelines with social distancing protocols such as limiting populations to 50 or fewer residents, additional space between cots and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices.
While coordinating with local officials, a health screening process is in effect for anyone coming into a shelter.
Each shelter has been equipped with PPE kits containing masks, gloves, thermometers, gowns, hand sanitizer, etc.
Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
- Prescriptions and emergency medications
- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
- Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
- Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
- Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
- Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters. Partner organizations make every effort to provide pet sheltering close to Red Cross shelters so pet owners can visit their pets frequently. Service animals are permitted and may stay with their owner in Red Cross shelters.
STAY SAFE This year, hurricane season is anticipated to be 60 percent more active and the Red Cross is encouraging people to prepare by:
Be sure you’re Red Cross Ready. That means:
- Assembling an emergency preparedness kit
- Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets
- Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans
- Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website
- Downloading the Emergency App for iPhone >> or for Android >> or by visiting redcross.org/apps.
We urge you to share these Red Cross preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.
FOR HELP Those with non-emergency flood-related needs are urged to call the American Red Cross at 1-866-526-8300.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED! We thank individuals and community groups who are willing to support our response efforts and encourage them to register to become new volunteers. Learn more and register online at redcross.org/volunteer.
SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays or single occupancy lodging like campsites or dormitories aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce.
We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.
HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.
Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. We need volunteers who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters. This could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment or consumable medical supplies.
Full information on volunteer opportunities is available here.
FURRY FRIENDS NEED HELP TOO When people leave their homes during an emergency, they take their pets with them. The Red Cross is looking for established partner organizations to support the pet sheltering effort.
HOW YOU CAN HELP All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.
Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
For more updates, follow the American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast on Twitter and Facebook @RedCrossTXGC. You can also visit https://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast.html or call 1-800-REDCROSS
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.