Photo and Story by Dan Bedell
Navigating past mountains of mud-caked, molding furniture, appliances, drywall, flooring and other debris that line almost every street in Jersey shore communities like Seaside Heights has become routine for emergency response vehicle (ERV) teams with the American Red Cross.
Their efforts are clearly appreciated by home and business owners, staff and work crews hired in the weeks since hurricane Sandy to rip out furnishings, walls, flooring, fixtures and insulation in a race against time to reduce the risks of rot and mold.
“Here, you look like you could definitely use more of these,” shouts ERV driver Dale Kiriaze of Reno, NV, offering safety masks to grimy-faced workers who applaud the truck’s arrival after steering around debris, potholes and puddles from a steady rain.
“Just promise me you won’t go using them to rob a bank,” he adds, drawing a much-needed chuckle from weary workers who gratefully accept the free masks and other items from Kiriaze and his Red Cross colleague, Kelly Phillips of Lake Tahoe, CA.
“I could really use a bottle of water,” says one worker in muddy overalls, to which Phillips hands him a dozen bottles to share with others in the group, then tosses each a fresh pairs of work gloves and offers clean-up supplies like disinfecting bleach, buckets, mops, garbage bags and tarps.
The Red Cross team then moved to another street to repeat the process. Their efforts, and those of ERV teams from across the country, have to date added up to more than six million relief items distributed free to thousands of people in New Jersey, New York and other states, each gift welcome as it’s one less expense they must bear in coping with the cost, not to mention the stress and back aches, of recovery from Sandy.
Photo and story by Winnie Romeril
“You guys in the Red Cross are doing a super job. Thank you for coming and helping us,” Anthony Luizzo told Red Cross volunteers. The Red Cross has been going through neighborhoods like Mr. Luizzo’s distributing clean up supplies, hot meals, and friendly conversations.
After 22 years in the NYPD, Anthony Luizzo knew about bring prepared. He boarded up his house and evacuated before the storm. “I told my neighbors to do the same but they wouldn’t listen. One of my neighbors had to swim for her life and she made it. Others did not. People here died.” Luzzio shows the waterline in his sun porch and then turns his thoughts to the future. ” I want to stay here and maybe put in a crows nest so I can watch the water, I still love to watch it out there.”
Grant Wood Area Chapter Response Vehicles Provides Comfort for Flood Victims
Red Cross Provides Tips to Stay Safe After a Flood
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The American Red Cross Grant Wood Area Chapter (GWAC) is on the scene in several Eastern Iowa counties to help those affected by the flood.
“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 the flood get back on their feet,” said Angela Jordan, GWAC CEO. “The Red Cross will continue providing mobile feeding through Wednesday and possibly longer to those affected by the flood.”
Monday, July 26, 2010
- A Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) will be taking lunch and supper to Hopkinton then making a longer stop in the Lake Delhi area.
- A Red Cross van will be providing lunch today in Manchester. A limited number of clean up kits are available at the Manchester Fire Department on a first come, first served basis.
- Bottled water is available at the Monticello City Works Building (City Shop).
- Clean up kits are available at the Oelwein Fire Department.
- The Red Cross is anticipating having additional clean up kits available on Wednesday and will send out pick up locations once available.
Red Cross Distributing Clean-Up Supplies to Flood Victims
(FLAGSTAFF) July 22, 2010 – The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross is distributing clean-up kits and water to Flagstaff-area residents impacted by Tuesday’s flood. A team of Red Cross volunteers is driving in the affected areas in a mobile distribution vehicle called an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV).
The clean-up kits contain a five gallon bucket, gallon of bleach, powdered household cleanser, dish detergent and clean-up rags. Volunteers will also distribute educational materials on what to do after a flood or mudslide.
Earlier today, Red Cross disaster assessment teams partnered with county and state teams to determine the extent of damage to specific homes throughout the area.
The shelter, located at Cromer Elementary School, 7150 Silver Saddle Rd, remains open with nine residents. To date, 149 people have registered their information at the shelter.
The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross responded to five disaster incidents in Coconino County in the first six months of 2009. That number doubled in the first six months of 2010. Direct financial assistance to these disasters increased 83%. The Red Cross is able to meet the immediate needs of our neighbors in need through the generous support of Arizonans. If you would like to make a donation to help victims of a local disaster like this one, please call 602-336-6660 or go to www.arizonaredcross.org.
Louisiana – A line of severe weather swept through Jefferson Davis Parrish causing a tornado that destroyed two homes and damaged over a dozen others late Thursday night. The Louisiana Capital Chapter deployed a Disaster Action Team (DAT), provided food, water and clean-up kits to affected residents.
Chris Meinzen from the Southeast Louisiana Red Cross chapter is deployed to help the flood operation in Georgia.
Collins and I reached the neighborhood, and people were waiting in the street for the next feeding ERV. We talked to people, we told them when help was coming, we told them what we could do. We spoke in Spanish and we used our knowledge to put them at ease. Later, driving through another neighborhood, I handed a Cleanup Kit to a man standing in his garage surrounded by his belongings. We talked for ten minutes.
Red Cross helping southeast residents cope
with flooding nightmare
WASHINGTON, September 28, 2009 – The rains are over, but the clean-up has only just begun as hundreds of American Red Cross staff and volunteers continue to help those affected by the devastating flooding which inundated the area last week.
For nearly 200 people, home is still a Red Cross shelter. Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are in flood-ravaged neighborhoods providing meals, snacks, and clean-up supplies. Red Cross disaster assessment teams are surveying homes for damage, and caseworkers are working directly with individuals and families, providing assistance for food, clothing, shelter and health-related concerns, as well as directing people to other recovery resources.
In about two weeks time, the Red Cross has served more than 12,700 meals and 11,400 snacks, and provided more than 28,300 items such as bleach, comfort kits, bottled water and clean-up kits.
The Red Cross pre-positions supplies and disaster equipment around the country to be able to rush relief services into affected areas when disaster strikes. Since 1997, members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) have pledged donations in advance of major disasters to ensure the Red Cross has the ability to respond immediately when needed. This year, members have provided more than $20 million in funding for the Disaster Relief Fund.
ADGP members include Altria Group, Inc., American Express, AXA Foundation, ConAgra Foods, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Raytheon, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare, and UPS.
“Thanks to the generosity of our Annual Disaster Giving Program members, we are able to mobilize human and material resources at a moments notice to provide lifesaving services,” said Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “These funds, coupled with the support of the American public, are critical during floods and enable the Red Cross to rush immediate relief to disaster victims before the first donation has been given.”
You can help people affected by disasters like the current floods by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.