The American Red Cross lends a helping hand to disaster victims - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

The American Red Cross lends a helping hand to disaster victims


The American Red Cross isn't the only organization trying to get 13 displaced residents from an apartment fire at 2008 Ingleside Avenue in Sioux City back on their feet; but rather a community effort by many resources in Siouxland.

When the American Red Cross gets a case, no matter the time of day, the first priority is to secure a safe place for displaced residents to stay.  

"About a month ago we had a fire and it was 2 a.m., blustery," said Tammy Lee, executive director at the American Red Cross,"And those folks immediately went to Mercy and were there until we could get them to another location to be able to have our Red Cross volunteers to help them with their next steps."

Those steps include finding more permanent housing whether that be with family, a hotel or in cases where there are a large number of victims the Red Cross will set up a shelter at their location.

Lee says at that point it's about partnering with local programs to get folks back on their feet.

"There are organizations that will provide furniture and clothing to people at no cost if they've had a disaster," said Lee, "So it's working with the Salvation Army, Goodwill and those other partners that help -- The Gospel Mission -- that do those kinds of things." 

Lee says when it comes to the number of volunteers dispatched to a disaster it depends on the situation.

Even if only one person comes to the initial scene, it's really a network of individuals that are behind the scenes ready to help. 

"If there are health related issues, we need to have medication replaced, if there is somebody that is hospitalized if there are things like that," said Lee, "We have a health services team that comes into play."

If you'd like to learn more information about how you can volunteer with The American Red Cross click here.

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