Providing monetary assistance is the best way for Sedalians to help residents of South Carolina following devastating storm damage caused by Hurricane Joaquin, Duane Hallock, American Red Cross regional public affairs and communication specialist, said Wednesday.
“We’ve done several things, one is people could make a financial contribution,” he said. “This is going to be a fairly expensive operation, a massive operation for the Red Cross. Also, from our region, in Western Missouri, we have sent 15 people to South Carolina already.”
Hallock said there are many positions the Red Cross volunteers will be covering while in South Carolina.
“Most of them are involved in what we call mass care,” he noted. “That basically means they will be helping with the sheltering and with feeding. I don’t know how many shelters we have open right now, but the last check was 36.”
Hallock added that the American Red Cross always welcomes volunteers to sign-up to help with situations both out of state and locally.
“What we would encourage though, is any anyone who would be interested in volunteering, even getting ready to volunteer for something that might happen in the local area, would be to go to redCross.org,” he said.
Once on the website, one would click on the “ways to help” link, and enter their zip code.
“That would then take them to the exact location for volunteer opportunities,” he added. “They can apply online for that. We would love to have volunteers.”
Those who are interested in sending a monetary donation may also go to www.redcross.org.
“Or if they wanted to make a contribution over the phone they could call 1-800-RED CROSS,” Hallock said.
The recovery effort in South Carolina will be ongoing for several months.
“The people that we sent from here were told that they would be there for two or three weeks,” Hallock said. “They will probably have another wave of people coming, even after that. Of course, we’re keeping our eyes very, very closely on the dams there. That will also affect the response and recovery efforts.”
A report by the Associated Press said 35 dams in South Carolina are being monitored.
“At least 17 people have been killed as a result of the historic floods — 15 in South Carolina and two in North Carolina,” the report states. “Two people were missing in Lower Richland County after driving around barricades into floodwater early Wednesday.”
Hallock said he was thankful for the excellent response to the flooding crisis by Pettis County residents.
“I want to thank the people for their support already,” he noted. “We know we’ve had a strong Red Cross support there in the past, and I appreciate the ongoing efforts to to make our communities, locally and nationally, safer.”
Those interested in helping monetarily or those wishing to sign up as a volunteer may contact the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 826-1000 ext. 1481 or @flbemiss.