December 2, 2013
On the last day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx, tragically taking the lives of four individuals and injuring dozens of people. American Red Cross workers have been at the crash site since this morning, helping passengers, first responders and other relief workers.
The Red Cross provided emotional support, food and blankets to a number of passengers before they were taken to local hospitals. Licensed Red Cross mental health workers also provided compassionate support at a reception center that was opened at nearby JFK High School for passengers and family members. Food and beverages were also provided by the Red Cross at the center.
Red Cross teams have been and will remain at the crash site on an ongoing basis, working through the night to support first responders with meals and water.
November 26, 2013
Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould was among the seven active players and alumni who visited Coal City and Diamond, Ill. Nov. 19 to help the Red Cross’ relief effort following the tornado outbreak.
Linebacker Blake Costanzo, cornerbacks Zack Bowman and Sherrick McManis and former safety Tom Zbikowski and former players Rashied Davis and Anthony Adams also pitched in to help. The players worked alongside Red Cross volunteers in the Diamond Estates subdivision, one of the hardest hit areas. They unload supplies from emergency response vehicles and hand out boxed lunches to residents who welcomed the surprise visitors with bear-sized hugs.
Bears fan Ed Hajduk was at Soldier Field in downtown Chicago watching his favorite team when the tornado struck his town in Grundy County. He raced home concerned about his family. Everyone escaped unharmed, but the home is in shambles. Two days later, Ed was standing on his driveway picking up debris when Robbie and the Red Cross stopped by.
“It’s hard, but to have the moral support that you have from the community—and from the Bears and Red Cross, God love ’em—that’s what it’s all about,” Hajduk said.
November 19, 2013
One of the resulting tragedies of disaster is that families can often become separated. In addition to supplying people, expertise, and equipment, the American Red Cross is helping reconnect families separated by Typhoon Haiyan. The International Committee of the Red Cross has now launched a website to assist these families. Concerned family and friends can search the site to see if their loved one is listed as either “I am alive” or “missing.” They can also choose to list their loved one as “missing.”
The Philippine Red Cross responders are actively gathering information on persons who are safe and well and updating the “I am alive” listings. Families should check the website regularly for updates.
For those who are searching for U.S. citizens missing in the Philippines, the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services has an additional resource. Check their Task Force Alert system (https://tfa.state.gov/ccd) or call 1-888-407-4747.
November 19, 2013
As dawn broke the morning after a tornado outbreak ripped across Illinois, residents woke with the challenge all survivors of devastating storms face. Where to turn for help?
The American Red Cross, Governor Pat Quinn and state emergency management officials banded together to tell people relief is coming, because help is on the way. “We’re all in this together, we’re a team,” said Quinn.
As the team fanned out across affected regions, the arm of the Red Cross reached out to families in Coal City. People were up early to begin assessing damage to their homes. Red Cross emergency response vehicles carrying supplies like blankets, water and doughnuts winded through debris-lined streets. On board were volunteers Rich Arons and Diana Spathis. They saw a lot of community strength under the rubble. Still, when the unavoidable fatigue settled over the neighborhoods later in the day, the two disaster mental health specialists provided a pivotal break to help people push through it by taking time to talk over a cup of coffee.
Inside Rachetti’s Café and Pizzeria downtown, Mark Evans was prepping for a special Red Cross delivery. The day before, Mark was grilling burgers, one of his favorite dishes to cook. When he saw the funnel cloud, he forgot the food and hustled the handful of customers and employees though the kitchen to safety. Today, Mark took extra care and found new meaning in preparing dinner. The Red Cross was sending volunteers to distribute the food to families who no longer had working kitchens of their own.
For teenager Zach Hajduk that calzone never tasted so good. Zach is sleeping in the dining room until the roof over his bedroom is repaired. Now sleeping where he should be eating, and eating outside; Zach and his family were grateful the Red Cross found the path to his door and extend a hand to help.
November 18, 2013
[TOLEDO, OHIO] Monday, November 18, 2013 — The American Red Cross Northwest Ohio Region is responding to provide assistance to people affected by last night’s Midwest Tornadoes. Red Cross staff and volunteers have responded to calls for help in Lucas, Putnam and Wood Counties, including the hard hit community of Cloverdale.
Immediate Red Cross assistance is based on an individual’s needs and typically includes food, clothing, comfort kits, medical or prescription assistance, emotional support and temporary shelter. In the next few days, Red Cross volunteers will be available to provide direct assistance0 for items such as bedding and support with security deposit or rent as clients have need.
November 18, 2013
Red Cross volunteer, Tom Elliott, gives an update on relief efforts in Milford, Texas. The entire Texas town was evacuated when a pipeline exploded nearly 48 hours ago.