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Red Cross helping Indiana and California disaster victims

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

TERRE HAUTE -- The American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter disaster volunteers are extending a helping hand in Indiana and California.

One local volunteer traveled to Nappanee, Ind., to serve as the Job Director for the Red Cross efforts to provide disaster relief to the families in the city whose homes were destroyed or damaged during the strong storms that moved through the state.

In addition, other local volunteers are on their way to California to help provide food and shelter to the thousands of people displaced by the recent outbreak of wild fires.

As the wildfire relief efforts continue into the days ahead, other local Red Cross disaster volunteers may follow.

With the wildfires still escalating, Red Cross supplies and volunteers are en route to Southern California by the thousands. More than 500 American Red Cross workers have been hard at work since the weekend and the Red Cross is expanding its services rapidly as the needs change and escalate.

Currently, the Red Cross has already sent:

• 25,000 cots,

• 50,000 blankets,

• 50,000 prepackaged meals,

• 25,000 comfort kits filled with toiletry items,

• 75 mobile feeding trucks and two Southern Baptist Kitchens,

• 1,000 shelter workers, and

• 1,000 workers to help with feeding, distribution of supplies, mental health and first aid equipment.

In addition to providing food and shelter, Red Cross mental health counselors are also on site to help clients manage the stress and fear that accompanies all disasters. The Red Cross continues to distribute water and food to firefighters and emergency workers in the affected areas as they work to battle the blazes and safeguard residents.

The local volunteers, residents of Clay, Greene, Sullivan and Vigo counties, will be part of the initial wave of outside help. For up to date information regarding the response in California, visit www.redcross.org.

To learn more about how to join the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts, call 812-232-3393.

The American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter is the local affiliate of the American Red Cross, serving Edgar County in Illinois, along with Clay, Greene, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in Indiana.

Each year, local disaster volunteers respond to nearly 140 disasters in the area. Home fires are the top disaster to which the local chapter responds.

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