Iowa Region Red Cross disaster workers providing comfort and cle - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa Region Red Cross disaster workers providing comfort and cleanup kits for flood victims

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The American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa is still on the scene in Rock Valley and Rock Rapids to help those affected by flooding. As of Friday morning, one Red Cross emergency shelter remains open at Central Lyon Middle School (1105 S. Story Street) in Rock Rapids to help residents impacted by flooding by offering a safe place to stay, a hot meal, minor first aid and a shoulder to lean on. Red Cross shelters at Faith Reformed Church (1305 7th Street) in Rock Valley and West Middle School in Sioux City are now closed.

The Red Cross in northwest Iowa has housed more than 200 people over the past week in shelters in Rock Rapids, Rock Valley and Cherokee.

So far, disaster workers have served more than 20,000 meals and snacks. And, volunteers in Red Cross emergency response vehicles continue to hand out water and snacks in affected areas.

On Thursday, Red Cross volunteers began giving out cleanup items such as, bleach, gloves, buckets, brooms and other supplies in Rock Rapids. On Friday, volunteers in Red Cross emergency response vehicles packed with cleanup items, water and snacks will visit the towns of Rock Valley, Akron and Hawarden. Volunteers are also handing out important safety information about what to expect when cleaning up and what to do in the event that flood waters should rise again. That vital preparedness information is attached to this email in PDF format for your websites and other publications.

Red Cross disaster workers are assessing damage to homes and will meet one-on-one with those affected by flooding to see what the Red Cross and other local agencies can do to help families recover.

“In the days and weeks to come, the Red Cross will be coordinating with emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by flooding get back on their feet,” said Tammy Lee, community chapter executive for the northwest Iowa territory. “The Red Cross will keep shelters open as long as needed, in addition to providing food, water and mental health support to those affected.”

The Red Cross offers the following tips for those in the affected area to stay safer:

Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damages.

Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.

If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.

Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

When it is safe to return home, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.

During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!

Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

If you or someone you know in northwest Iowa still needs assistance, please call the Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross (712) 252-4081 or toll free: (800) 340-4081.

The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

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