Red Cross Volunteers Respond to Help Local Flooded Residents

Learn what the American Red Cross Southeastern Chapter has done to help those affected by the floods

This photo was taken at about 6 pm in front of my house on West Chateau Place. on the western edge of Whitefish Bay. Photo Credit: Scott Sager - Whitefish Bay , WI

American Red Cross volunteers are responding to help residents affected by the local flooding. On Thursday night, volunteers opened three shelters and assisted approximately 100 people who stayed overnight. Shelters remain open at Glen Hills Middle School, 2600 West Mill Road, in Milwaukee and at our chapter office, 2600 W. Wisconsin Avenue, in Milwaukee.

To help those cleaning up their homes, volunteers distributed more than 700 clean up kits, which contain gloves, bleach and other supplies, on Friday. If you need clean up kits, please contact our chapter at 414-342-8680. In the coming days, volunteers will also be traveling into the most severely affected areas with clean up kits and food and water.

If your home has been flooded, follow these flood safety tips when reentering your home:

  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.

How you can help

Help people affected by disasters like the recent flooding 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-REDCROSS (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. Internet users can make a secure online contribution.