Local Red Cross helps with hurricane relief

American Red Cross (KSN File Photo)
American Red Cross (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There’s thousands of people still looking to the American Red Cross after Hurricane Matthew swept the Atlantic coast.

Today, the last of the American Red Cross Kansas and Nebraska region volunteers will make their way down to the most affected areas.

According to the Red Cross website, on Saturday, more than 18,000 people across four states woke up in 183 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters.

Those four states include Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.

That’s why at 10 a.m. our local Red Cross Chapter will send its last Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to help with relief efforts.

ERVs have been used locally for everything from house fires to natural disasters like tornadoes and floods.

This ERV comes from Salina and will be the 10th from our region, which covers Kansas, Nebraska and parts of southwest Iowa.

Along with a number of ERVs, they’ve also deployed 35 trailers nationally to bring things like water, ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks and more.

The outpouring of support from volunteers has been amazing, according to local Red Cross executive director, Michelle Jantz.

Our regional American Red Cross serves more than 4 million people and is made up of more than 4,000 volunteers and is helped by its donors.

While the organization relies on blood donations year round, it’s extremely important that people continue to make and keep their blood appointments right now, Jantz said.

Many of the blood drives on the East Coast have been cancelled because of Hurricane Matthew.

But the Red Cross isn’t just focusing on relief in the U.S.

They’re also working with the Haitian Red Cross to get supplies in Haiti to people in need.

According to the website, three American Red Cross teams were sent to Haiti early and have been handing out life-saving relief supplies, hygiene kits and cholera-prevention kits since before the hurricane first hit.

The Red Cross National Headquarters is also sending response specialists, generators and telecommunications equipment to Haiti where 200 volunteers are already working with hurricane victims.

If you’d like to help the Red Cross’ relief efforts or learn more about the organization and its work, click here.