JANUARY 25, 2016
Eastern KY Volunteer heads to Flint, MI to assist with water distribution
Ashland, Kentucky, January 25, 2016 – Eastern Kentucky Chapter volunteer, Jeffery Wilson, from Hazel Green in Wolfe County KY is heading to Flint, MI to support the water distribution efforts.
Jeffrey has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross for over 10 years; deploying close to 40 times all over the United States. His most recent deployments included Idaho, South Carolina and Texas in 2015.
Jeffery specializes in Mass Care, but is also trained to assist in Client Casework & Recovery, Disaster Cycle Services Logistics, and Operations.
Flint Water Crisis Overview and Red Cross Response
Flint’s tap water became contaminated with too much lead after the city switched its water supply in 2014 to save money while under state financial management. Local officials first declared a public health emergency in October in response to tests that showed children with elevated levels of lead. And on January 16, President Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint.
In coordination with government and community partners, the Red Cross is supporting the crisis. Flint has a population of just under 100,000 people – approximately 45,000 households. So far, the Red Cross has visited more than 27,000 homes to provide relief supplies and offer support services. Volunteers have distributed more than 60,000 items, including cases of water, water filters, educational materials and testing kits. These filters have a 3-month lifespan so there will be a need to distribute additional filters and information to residents in the future. We are also serving meals and snacks – more than 7,700 to date – for volunteers on the operation.
More than 1,000 Red Crossers, both volunteers and staff, have assisted the operation so far. Trained Red Cross logistics specialists are working closely with government officials to identify vulnerable populations and develop operational plans for the coming months. We are working in close communication with Genesee County Emergency Management, the County Health Department and other partners to further evaluate community assets and develop long-term filter distribution plans.
At this time, the Red Cross has not identified a need for water donations, as the government is the lead for procuring all needed water supplies. According to our team on the ground, the government and other local nonprofit partners have even reached capacity or are nearing capacity of bottled water donations in their warehouses.
Red Cross Emergency App
The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of winter weather, floods, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Some of the many features of the app include:
• A single map provides shelter locations and weather information.
• Information on emergency first aid for situations such as cold-related emergencies and safety after floods.
In dedicated service,
Eastern Kentucky Chapter
American Red Cross
4201 Blackburn Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101
O: 606-325-1626 I M: 606-831-8035 I F: 606-329-1507