Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that a massive winter storm is headed our way this evening, predicted to dump over a foot of snow on Western New York by 10pm Wednesday. As we've already seen this winter, it doesn't take nearly that much of the white stuff to cause problems. Hopefully everyone will stay safe this time around, but thanks to your support, the Red Cross is ready to help if needed. In fact, we've done this sort of thing before!
In early December, a lake effect snow storm left some travelers stranded on New York State Thruway for over 24 hours. Our Disaster Action Team set up a shelter at the Cheektowaga Senior Center, providing 85 people with a food, water, a way to contact loved ones, and most importantly, heat! The Red Cross also provided hotel rooms for 13 people who didn't have a way home at the end of the evening.
During that same storm, a family was forced out of the house they were renting after the weight of multiple feet of snow caused the roof to collapse on the home. The Red Cross provided the family with money for food, new clothes, and a place to stay. Our staff also worked with the family to create a plan to help them put their lives back together, offering to pay the security deposit and first months rent on a new apartment.
Of course, when high winds combine with snow and ice, a widespread disaster including massive power outages is always possible. Think back to October of 2006--the surprise storm left hundreds without power for days, with trees and power lines covering roads and damaging houses. The Red Cross opened shelters across Erie County, even setting up cots for people to stay with us right here at Chapter heaquarters!
We count on you to be there for us, year after year, with your meaningful gift to the American Red Cross. Donating is simple--just go to our website and help us continue to be What Happens Next when disaster strikes. While you're there, check out some of our winter preparedness tips and make sure our winter wonderland doesn't turn into a nightmare.