Friday, February 22, 2013

Red Cross Opening Shelter for Residents Displaced by Forest Avenue Fire

Disaster Action Team also assisting residents following fire on Timon St

Red Cross shelter at St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown
Buffalo for residents displaced by an apartment fire on
Forest Avenue
BUFFALO, NY, February 22, 2013– Volunteers from the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties are currently opening a shelter for residents displaced by an apartment fire on Forest Avenue in the City of Buffalo overnight which displaced a total of 27 people. That shelter is located at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 128 Pearl Street in Buffalo.

“The Red Cross would like to thank St. Paul’s Cathedral for opening its doors to these neighbors in need who have lost everything,” said Kenneth Turner, Chief Programs Officer. “We also want to thank the NFTA, who provided a warm bus for our volunteers to meet with these clients on scene and is providing transportation for our clients to Social Services and to the shelter as needed, as well as our amazing volunteers for answering the call to help those in need in the middle of the night.”

Earlier Friday morning, Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to a separate fire on Timon Street in Buffalo. Four residents have been placed in a local hotel on a temporary basis, and it is possible additional residents may need assistance. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food, clothing, and emotional support for those displaced by a fire. Clients are then expected to meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work out a longer-term recovery plan.

The Disaster Action Team is a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information on how to Join Us as a Disaster Action Team member, please call (716) 878-2140 or visit

The American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties spends an average of just over $1,000 when responding to a single house fire affecting a family of four.  To make a financial donation to those affected by house fires and other disasters down the street, across the country, or around the world, please visit, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation (charges will appear on your cell phone bill).   

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

50th WNY Volunteer Deploys to Assist in Sandy Response

Susan Peek of Buffalo to work in Operations Management in Greater NY

Susan Peek of Buffalo
BUFFALO, NY, February 20, 2013 – Susan Peek of Buffalo travelled to the Greater NYC Region on Tuesday to volunteer with the ongoing American Red Cross relief and recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy. Peek, who will work in Operations Management, is the 50th volunteer from the eight-county Western New York region to deploy as part of the Sandy operation since the storm made landfall in late October, 2012. With several of those volunteers having served multiple deployments, the WNY Region has filled more than 67 assignments to date.

Nearly four months since Superstorm Sandy’s landfall, the Red Cross is still hard at work providing food, emotional support and long-term assistance. The Red Cross has been distributing an average of 50,000 meals and snacks each day in New York. Thanks to the public’s generous support, our work so far includes:
  •          Serving nearly 13 million meals and snacks.
  •          Handing out nearly 7 million relief items, including cold weather items and clean-up supplies.
  •          Providing more than 112,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people who have been living in very tough conditions. 

WNY Regional Executive Director Nancy Blaschak continues to serve as Interim Sr. Director for the Sandy Long Term Recovery Project in NYC and Long Island. Part of the coordinated efforts in the coming weeks will include grants to support the work of a broad coalition of nonprofits. Already, the Red Cross has granted nearly $6 million to three food banks in New York, supported the work of Operation Hope to provide assistance and financial counseling to survivors, and committed $5 million to a mold remediation program to help New York residents clean up their homes. For the next several months, a big part of the recovery efforts will be working one-on-one with people who need some extra help, and this work is underway. For more on the Red Cross response to Sandy, visit