Red Cross Plans For Recovery Phase
Red Cross shelters are beginning to transition to recovery in some areas as the flood waters move east.
“In the next days ahead we’ll look at being at the disaster assistance centers such as the one that opened up in Longmont,” said Patricia Billinger, Communications Director for Red Cross in Colorado and Wyoming, “we’ve got folks there providing emotional support, cleanup kits, and also just assessing people’s needs.”
Billinger says that they are preparing for more evacuees at the shelters in Longmont and Fort Collins now that helicopter evacuations have resumed along the Front Range.
"But so many homes are effected we don't anticipate this being over any time soon."
Recently the largest number of people in the shelters in Boulder and Mead High School in Longmont on Sept. 15, the number of people at the shelter in Estes Park has gone down.
“My numbers that I’m showing are that only four people stayed the night there last night [Sunday] and that’s down from 68 on the 14th, so that looks like good news, hopefully people are being able to return to their homes,” said Billinger.
The Red Cross is encouraging people in the affected communities to register themselves at safeandwell.org to let loved ones know their status.
“You can select your level of privacy,” said Billinger, “so that you can control how open that is and how much information other people need in order to see your status.” The site can also be searched if you are looking for someone.
“We’re still not out of the danger, we still have people under the danger of flooding so we’re ramping up in those communities as the water goes east in Northern Colorado, and meanwhile we have other communities that will be transitioning to recovery,” said Billinger. “But so many homes are effected we don’t anticipate this being over any time soon.”
From the Red Cross:
- As many as 1,000 people stayed in shelters Sunday night in Colorado.
- Working with The Salvation Army, the Red Cross has served more than 7,100 meals and snacks.
- Over 250 trained Red Cross disaster workers are on site in shelters, in vehicles and in emergency operations centers providing direct support to people affected and coordinating with State and local officials.
- The Red Cross is working closely with local emergency management officials and the Colorado National Guard to help ensure people get the help they need.
- Access to some communities is difficult due to flood waters and damaged roads. As flooded areas begin to re-open, the Red Cross will be there to assess the damage, distribute clean up supplies and support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months. We’re already planning for that effort now.