Red Cross continues to provide support in Southeast Wisconsin

The American Red Cross continues to provide assistance to Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth County residents after being hit with severe flooding.  Red Cross, with partnering agencies, opened three Multi-Agency Resource Centers where residents were assisted with immediate disaster recovery needs.

To date, the Red Cross has:

  • served 480 clients
  • provided 493 meals
  • distribution 1,689 clean-up kits
  • served 1,748 snacks
  • provided clients with 4,315 bulk items, such as bleach, gloves, and garbage bags

The Red Cross work continues in the Kenosha, Racine and Walworth communities and throughout Western Wisconsin.

If you affected by the storms and have questions or immediate needs, please call 414-345-8678.

How you can help

The Red Cross and the communities it serves rely on local volunteers to provide humanitarian relief during times of disaster. You can become a Red Cross volunteer in your community when disaster strikes. To learn more, visit

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation’s blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. The Wisconsin Region serves 5.8 million people across Wisconsin and Houston County Minnesota.  For more information, please visit, follow our statewide blog at and follow us on Twitter @redcrosswis

The Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross responds to nearly 900 disasters a year. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Click, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Wisconsin Region, 2600 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233


Team Effort Creates Results!

Floods and winds created the need for 90 disaster responders to fulfill the emotional, health and disaster needs people come to expect from the American Red Cross after heavy rained caused wide-spread flooding damage across eight Northern Wisconsin counties with the sacred tribal lands of the Bad River Reservation being the epicenter of destruction.


The Red Cross provided the following:

  • Opened an overnight shelter
  • Spearheaded a Multi-Agency Resource Center, a one-stop location for disaster help
  • Staffed two Emergency Operation Centers
  • Integrated Care Team outreach after four fatalities
  • 105 Health and Emotional Health contacts
  • 690 Clean-up Kits distributed (bucket, mop, broom, squeegee, gloves, cleaners, etc.)
  • 2,862 Meals and Snacks served
  • 2,982 Distributed shovels, bleach, gloves, pet carriers and more
  • Truckloads of bottled water was provided

Volunteers haul up cleaning supplies kit into the van

“You could see on the people’s faces signs of hope because the Red Cross was there. I was so honored by the work our team was doing,” said Kyle Kriegl, Northwest Wisconsin Chapter Executive.

“Sometimes we don’t realize how we impact people’s lives and make a difference. One of the families we helped had a military spouse deployed in Alaska. Our team was able to connect her with our Services to the Armed Forces caseworker who was able to work with his command and have him come home for emergency leave to help cleanup and recover from this disaster. That is what the Red Cross is all about to me — helping people,”shared Kriegl.

Join us for free training so you too can be part of the disaster response team!

If you would like to support our efforts with a financial gift, please do at

Learn more about flood safety.


The Disaster Team assisted the NW Wisconsin flood.





Colorado Floods – One Year Later!

By Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director

It is hard to believe one year ago today, I was boarding a plane for Denver, CO to help tell the story of so many that were impacted by the devastating floods. Here’s a look back at the many faces who touched my life and the stories I wrote about during my deployment experience.

Monday, September 16, 2013. Red Cross shelter at the YMCA, Boulder, Colorado. Esther Peter, of Boulder, Colorado, shares her heroic story with Dr. Kathy Palakow, Psy.D., LPC, Red Cross Mental Health Worker of Boulder, CO. Photo by Hector Emanuel/American Red Cross

Monday, September 16, 2013. Red Cross shelter at the YMCA, Boulder, Colorado. Esther Peter, of Boulder, Colorado, shares her heroic story with Dr. Kathy Palakow, Psy.D., LPC, Red Cross Mental Health Worker of Boulder, CO. Photo by Hector Emanuel/American Red Cross


Monday, September 16, 2013. Red Cross shelter at Niwot High School, Niwot, Colorado. Donna Hitz, 81, of Lyons, Colorado, shares with Red Cross worker Jody Weyers of Green Bay, Wisconsin, her experience of being airlifted by a helicopter from her property to safety. Her neighbors knocked on her door to alert her to the evacuation and the next thing she knew, a helicopter was landing in her pasture. Photo by Hector Emanuel/American Red Cross

Monday, September 16, 2013. Red Cross shelter at Niwot High School, Niwot, Colorado. Donna Hitz, 81, of Lyons, Colorado, shares with Red Cross worker Jody Weyers of Green Bay, Wisconsin, her experience of being airlifted by a helicopter from her property to safety. Her neighbors knocked on her door to alert her to the evacuation and the next thing she knew, a helicopter was landing in her pasture. Photo by Hector Emanuel/American Red Cross

Deployment – Day 1 

Colorado Floods – Telling our Story: Part 1


Click HERE to the American Red Cross one year update report.

Deployment: Day One – Colorado Floods

By Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director

Deployment: Day one:  September 15, 2013

Twenty-four hours ago, I was saying yes, to assisting with the Colorado floods, and now here I am on a plane. This is my second National Red Cross Deployment. My first assignment was in 2008 for Hurricane Ike, deployed to Dallas, TX and then Houston and Galveston. It has been over five years since I have answered the call, so when this assignment came along I couldn’t say no.

IMAG1134I went into work, cleared my calendar, printed off a ton of information on Colorado and our response efforts, clean my house (yes, I am one of those people that has to have a clean house before I leave for a trip) and packed. I packed everything Red Cross I own (as seen by the picture to the right.)

My journey started out at 3:30 this am, to get ready and get to the airport for a 6am flight. As I am sitting back in my seat on my way to Denver I find it a coincidence that I am reading a book right now called “The Third Wave – A volunteer Story” by Alison Thompson. It was given to me by an amazing volunteer and it is about the inspiring account of what one woman and her friends can accomplish against the greatest odds.

It has me thinking as I am getting ready to pitch in and help those who have had their homes, possessions, and for some, have lost loved ones due to the floods, that it is amazing what one person can do, but it is even more amazing what an “army” of people can do.

photoThat is what I am doing. I am joining an army of people to help those who need it. That is what the Red Cross does. It gathers our trained group of workers and sends them to where the help is needed most. It is incredible the logistics that is behind a small operation, let alone something of this magnitude.

My assignment is that i will be assigned to a photographer as a sherpa? Yes, I wondered what that meant too.  He will be capturing pictures that tell the human side of this operation, and I will be putting the words to them.

Am I nervous? I can honestly say NO. I have been with the American Red Cross for over 12 years and it has prepared me to be ready. I am excited to share the great work of our team in photos and words. I hope these images and words inspire people to give. I thank the American people for your donations because it is allowing the American Red Cross to be able to respond to those impacted in Colorado and across the country affected by disaster.

Follow me on twitter @jweyers2 to share in this journey with me!

Disaster Volunteer, Dave Mooney on His First National Disaster Assignment

Local volunteer, Dave Mooney, is off on his first national disaster deployment. He and another trained Emergency Response Vehicle driver are on the road to Fargo, North Dakota. They will be providing food, water, hot coffee to the thousands of volunteers who are supporting sand bagging efforts, first responders and the community at-large. With the Red River near the flood stage, massive efforts have been taken to limit flood damage and the American Red Cross has shelters, food, clean-up kits and more ready if needed.

Red Cross says it needs $55,000 for flood recovery assistance

By Jen McCoy, Daily Register | Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010

Red Cross worker conduct disaster assessment in the wake of severe weather in Portage, WI. Photo Credit: American Red Cross

Before the flooding came, the American Red Cross was ready to help. The organization was present in Portage beginning Sept. 24, said Rachel Reichhoff, the community relations manager for the American Red Cross-Badger Chapter.

“We estimate that we’ll provide assistance to 60 families from cleanup kits, to physical help, to any kind of assistance. For all the flood damage, we’re going to need to raise $55,000 for recovery. It’s showing more damage than we anticipated,” she said.

Money from the organization’s Disaster Relief Fund was used to respond to the floodwaters. The fund is used by the Badger Chapter to respond to emergencies within their 13 counties at any time during the year.

“We have Columbia, Sauk, Adams and Juneau counties that have been affected in some way or another,” Reichhoff said.

Disaster partners are businesses or people who commit to make a yearly donation to the Red Cross. Area businesses that signed on as disaster partners are Saint-Gobain, which donated $3,500, Ballweg Ford, which donated $2,500, and Ho Chunk, which donated $2,500. Ho Chunk also donated $6,000 in July so the chapter could purchase a Red Cross shelter trailer, which was used during this disaster. Cardinal Glass committed to giving $3,000 for flood recovery response.

“We are needing as many businesses as we can get signed on as disaster partners because right now we only have three and we have four counties (affected),” Reichhoff said.

To date, the Red Cross has served more than 1,200 meals to volunteers and affected residents in Columbia County. It also distributed 102 clean up kits, 76 comfort kits (that include blankets, toothpaste, and deodorant), and provided shelter to 68 people. The organization also is matching people with organizations and volunteers able to help with the physical cleanup.

People can donate money to the Red Cross in several ways: Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10, which will be added to your mobile phone bill, send a check to American Red Cross Badger Chapter at 4860 Sheboygan Ave., Madison, WI 53705, or donate online at

For more information, or to become a disaster partner, contact Rachel Reichhoff at 355-0943. People affected by the flooding and in need of assistance may contact the Red Cross-Badger Chapter toll-free number 877-618-6628.

Red Cross Lending a Hand in Minnesota, Wisconsin As Water Continues to Rise

Monday, September 27, 2010 — The American Red Cross is on the ground in Wisconsin and Minnesota where the rains have slowed down but rivers and streams continue to rise, forcing entire neighborhoods from their homes.

In Wisconsin, a 120-year-old sand levee along the Wisconsin River near Portage, Columbia County, is failing and could affect as many as 100 homes with more damage possible as the flood waters travel south. Residents in the area were urged to leave their homes immediately. The river crested over the weekend at almost 3.5 feet above flood level, putting major pressure on the levee system. In Minnesota, some residents were allowed back in their homes only long enough to retrieve some belongings.  Rivers and streams continue to rise. The high water has closed roads, destroyed bridges and damaged homes. In some areas, inspectors may begin checking out homes and businesses to determine if they are fit for residents to return.

Chapters in both states have opened shelters and are providing meals and comfort items such as toiletries to residents forced from their homes by the rising flood waters. The Red Cross is working with local and state officials in both Wisconsin and Minnesota to ensure help is available for those who need it.

 If your neighborhood has been affected by flooding, the Red Cross has some steps you should take to remain safe:

  • 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.

For more information on what to do if flooding threatens your community, visit make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by these disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text – visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Three weeks of flood response. What a great team we have!

Guest Blog Post: Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive – Northeast WI Region

At the Red Cross, our “elevator speech” goes something like this.  The American Red Cross empowers ordinary people to perform extraordinary acts in emergency situations. We train. We mobilize. We connect donors and volunteers to those in urgent need of a helping hand. Whether it is a hurricane or a heart attack; a call for blood or a call for help, the American Red Cross is there.

The past few weeks of severe storms and floods have absolutely confirmed in my mind that our focused effort to share local resources throughout Northeast Wisconsin is working because your American Red Cross was there each and every time we were called for help! And boy, we were called often! You see, this was just the second significant test of our shared resource system since regionalization took hold under our “One Red Cross” transformation nearly three years ago. The first test came during the summer floods of 2008 and I must say our performance improved immensely.  

Of course having a good plan is one thing, but having a good plan is worthless without great people to make it happen.   Here, in Northeast Wisconsin and around the State, we have an unbelievable team of dedicated, compassionate, and competent staff and volunteers committed to serving our communities at the highest level possible!

The Howard family is staying at our shelter at Glenn Hills Middle School. You can read their entire story at

One of many heartwarming examples of Red Cross compassion includes the Howard family who arrived cold and wet at the Milwaukee Glenn Hills Middle School shelter, with only one thing on their minds—staying together. Their wish was fulfilled, as they found cots, warm blankets and caring volunteers.  “It’s been so nice, that we’ve been able to stay together. This was the best place for us,” Mrs. Howard says with a smile. “Reality is setting in. We lost so much, like our baby pictures in the basement. We’ll never get those back. But the most important thing was that we were able to stay together.”

Together, we truly can transform a life in crisis into a life of hope. Thank you volunteers and staff for such a terrific team effort!

Below is a chronological summary of the past three weeks demonstrating how effective we can be by leveraging, utilizing and deploying limited resources across the Region and State.

July 14 – Across the 22-county Northeast Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross, multiple volunteer disaster action teams were activated or placed on stand-by through a coordinated regional call-down system led by Travis Waack our regional disaster manager in Manitowoc.

Working with our partners in many County Emergency Management offices, we were able to secure the Oshkosh Convention Center as a stand-by emergency overnight shelter and provide Red Cross presence within County Emergency Operations Centers including Nick Cluppert our disaster manager based in Oshkosh who was in the Winnebago County EOC the first night of the big storms.

Pat Schaeve, employee of US Bank, "Ready When the Time Comes" volunteer doing damage assesment door-to-door in Neenah, WI.

July 15 – U.S.Bank, our “Ready When the Time Comes” regional partnership was activated. The program consists of trained bank employees who are released from normal work-day activities to support local disaster relief efforts. Lindsay Geffers, the US Bank facilitator received the call early in the morning and leaped into action. They provided several volunteers that attended a morning briefing, received maps, clean-up kits and were then dispatched along with a more experienced Red Cross disaster workers to comb affected neighborhoods. Lindsay stated, “I never realized how important it was to let the community know they have support and assistance if they need it. It’s amazing to see how people can persevere through disasters – especially those that have flooded before.”

July 17 – Utilizing our regional media database Red Cross communicators Jody Weyers and Barbara Behling were able to stay in constant contact with multiple media outlets providing response updates and useful flood safety information for the public.

July 20 – Judy Gregory our disaster manager based in Green Bay received a call from the Shawno County Emergency Manager requesting Red Cross assistance due to a severe storm and possible tornado impacting the Village of Wittenberg and surrounding area with damage being reported to buildings and homes.  Within a couple of hours 15 volunteers were deployed to Wittenberg including an operations manager, an emergency response vehicle with 2 drivers, 4 health services workers, 1 Shelter manager, 1 Damage assessment supervisor, 6 shelter/mass care workers including a shelter trailer equipped to serve 50 people. This crew was supported by 6 volunteers deployed from our Waupaca office.

July 22 – The disaster volunteer team from Fond du Lac led by Joyce Keyes was placed on stand-by to travel to the Red Cross in Madison to pick up Clean Up Kits to replenish our depleted supply within the region. Ultimately, the team was not deployed as our friends in Madison and Eau Claire stepped up and pulled approximately 350 kits from their shelves and delivered them to Oshkosh and Appleton. John Kost, our disaster manager in Appleton was able to immediately deliver 40 badly needed kits to Black Creek.

July 24 – The Scenic Shores Chapter was called by Calumet County Emergency Management to respond to the Village of Stockbridge. At approximately 4:00 AM, the Village received 4 inches of rain in a very short period of time. The heavy rainfall caused a swiftly moving flash floods to flow through the Village and into Lake Winnebago. Several homes had several inches of water in the primary living space on the first floor. The ECW Chapter delivered Clean Up Kits to Stockbridge and the Scenic Shores Chapter distributed them. The Scenic Shores Chapter also conducted a complete Disaster Assessment, served meals, and distributed bottled water.

Additional Stories of the Red Cross at Work

Red Cross Helping Flood Victims: The Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and clean up kits to Milwaukee residents.

CLICK HERE  to view video:

Brew City Flood: Red Cross Aids Victims

By George Mallet – TMJ4: CLICK HERE  for Video of Story

MILWAUKEE – Marie Irby is 77-years-old and living on her Social Security check.  When the foundation of her North 19th Place home washed away in a sea of sewage last week, she felt helpless.  Though she still tends the perfect garden behind her condemned home, she is frustrated.
“They are saying now I can’t live in the house,” she says as she stands in front of her tidy cottage.  “I still want my own house.  I want somewhere to go.  I don’t have money to start all over again.”
Irby believes the city bears some responsibility for the destruction of her home.  After all, it wasn’t rain water that washed away the structure; it was sewage backing up in her basement drains.  Angry tears fill her eyes when she talks about what she sees as a bumbling bureaucracy responsible for the mess she must now deal with. That’s when a brief moment of contentment begins for the enfeebled woman.  An American Red Cross truck pulls up and begins serving chicken dinners to all those struggling to clean up their sewage-soaked homes.
“A lot of people are cleaning up, but you forget to take care of yourself,” says the Red Cross’s Shannon Hext as she stands beside Irby’s home.  “You forget to eat.”
Marie Irby collects one of the foam trays containing a tasty, hot meal.  The food may be enough to fortify her.  She vows to fight for her condemned home.
“If they tear it down, they’re going to tear it down with me sitting on my porch, cause I’m not going nowhere!” She exclaims as she sits on that same porch.
The best way to help the Red Cross continue its important work is to make a cash donation.  The Red Cross is also eager to add volunteers willing to undergo training for disaster relief.


How You Can Help: You can help people affected by disasters like floods, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.  Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.  Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.