An Update on Neenah Volunteer in Florida

By Lauren Lindstrom, Communications Intern, American Red Cross:

We hope you had a safe and happy 4th of July. Here is an update on a story we brought you last week about the travels of Harvey Lorenz, a Red Cross Volunteer from Neenah who was recently deployed to Tallahassee, Florida for disaster relief after Tropical Depression Debby.

Lorenz is well into his first week in Florida, working as a Financial and Statistical Supervisor for the American Red Cross. He is working with caseworkers who are out in the field distributing aid to families, and damage assessors to log the cost of Debby’s damage.

Lorenz said more than 200 homes in the Tallahassee area are deemed “major damage” or destroyed. Recently, the waters have receded to allow access two local bridges that were previously submerged. This will allow relief workers to reach parts of the Tallahassee area previously unreachable. Now the process of “mucking out,” as Lorenz calls it, can continue in these areas.

“Tallahassee is doing okay, because it is in higher ground,” he said. “But there are areas south and west of the city that still have major water issues.”

Though he says he has yet to find a great coffee shop in the area, Lorenz is not at a loss for good food. He praises local businesses, who have donated food and resources to relief workers. He says 16 local vendors have fed volunteers during his time in Florida.

“The local merchants are outstanding,” he said. “We aren’t suffering for lack of food.”

Now, Lorenz estimates he will be in Florida for at least another week. He says he is watching the Weather Channel, and keeping an eye on any severe weather that might strike soon.

HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog athttp://blog.redcross.org.

Neenah Volunteer is Deployed to FL for Disaster Relief

By Lauren Lindstrom, Communications Intern, American Red Cross:

When disaster strikes, Harvey Lorenz is ready to take the call. The American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter volunteer and Neenah, Wis., resident will deploy to Tallahassee, Fla. on June 29 to serve as a Financial and Statistical Supervisor for flooding cleanup efforts following Tropical Depression Debby.

This will be the eighth service deployment for Lorenz, who most recently traveled to Pennsylvania in September 2011 to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

For Lorenz, it is the pull of service and the quality of the organization that keeps him coming back. He wants to put his years of expertise in the financial industry to a good use.

“I like working with numbers, which is not a gift for everyone,” Lorenz said. “I feel like I can use my expertise here.”

“The Red Cross is fabulous,” he added. “It’s a great group to be a team member of.”

Harvey fills out paperwork in preparation for his deployment to Florida.

It is this group he will join to assist those suffering from the effects of Debby.“We do what we can to lighten their load and make their lives less traumatic,” he said.

The American Red Cross is providing critical help to thousands of people affected by massive flooding in Florida from Tropical Depression Debby.

Nearly 200 Red Cross disaster workers are helping in Florida, where 11 shelters were open overnight. Tropical Depression Debby has dumped as much as ten inches of rain on most of the state, with some areas getting up to 25 inches of rain. Truckloads of additional relief supplies are on the way to Florida and 20 response vehicles are ready to start distributing items to help as the cleanup begins there.

“Thousands have been impacted by these disasters and the Red Cross is giving them a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “We are expanding our efforts to help the growing number of people affected by the fires in the west and are ready to distribute the tools and other resources people will need to begin the cleanup in Florida as the flood waters recede.”

HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243,Washington, DC 20013.

REGISTER ON SAFE AND WELL The Red Cross Safe and Well website is also available. People affected by the fires and flooding can access the site and let loved ones know where they are. There are several ways to register on Safe and Well, or search for a loved one. From a computer, visit redcross.org from a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell  or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.