Officials say residents can help by making donations.
Ellicott City, Md (KM). Since Sunday evening, the Red Cross of Central Maryland has been on the ground in Howard County and other surrounding jurisdictions since flooding caused widespread damage. Lenore Koors, Regional Communications Officer with that Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter of the Red Cross, says the non-profit was notified of the flooding just after 5:00 PM on Sunday, and arrived on the scene an hour later. She says the Red Cross set up operations in a community center on a higher ground near downtown Ellicott City, which was hit hard by flash flooding.
“We were having food for them. There was place for them to rest. They could come and charge their I-phones and communications phones, ” she said.
In addition to food and a place to stay, Koors says the Red Cross is providing cleanup kits for residents. “With products inside of them to clean up whatever mess may be left over from the flood,” says Koors. The kits also contain “bleach as a disinfectant.”
There are also comfort kits. “They’ve left their homes and left without anything. The basic necessities: toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, washcloth; all the basics things if you were traveling or displaced,” says Koors.
But the Red Cross is providing caseworkers to help residents get back on their feet. “There’s many resources available. But if this is your first disaster, you may not know what is available. We have caseworkers that work with all types of other agencies, whether they be governmental agencies or other non-profits, or services that Red Cross might provide,” says Koors.
Along with those services, Koors says the Red Cross has mental health professionals who can help the victims of disasters cope.”Often, during disasters. people really need some kind of support and help with coping for what they’re going through,” she says. Some of the feelings of emotions victims deal with are being distraught and overwhelmed. “Sometimes people get depressed and withdraw. Hopelessness,confusion” are just some of the emotions these people who’ve lost mostly everything are feeling.
In addition, Koors says the Red Cross can work with individuals who had to leave their homes without their prescription medication and other medical supplies. “Red Cross does have nursing volunteers that can help if someone had to leave their homes without meds or any other medical device that might need replacement,” she says.
The Red Cross says if the public wants to help, they can do so by making cash donations to the agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. Go on line to www.redcross.org for more information.
By Kevin McManus