Saturday, June 29, 2013

WNY/Finger Lakes Region Sends Eight Volunteers to assist in Central NY Flooding Response

Red Cross providing shelter, food for affected residents

BUFFALO, NY, June 29, 2013 – The American Red Cross has launched a relief operation in Central New York in response to massive flooding across the region Friday. A total of eight volunteers from the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions have deployed to assist in the response, including the opening of a shelter at the Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica. The deployed volunteers initially reported to Regional Headquarters in Syracuse to receive their specific assignments.

A list of volunteers who have been deployed is below. The volunteers are unavailable for interviews, but to arrange an interview with a Red Cross representative, please contact Jay Bonafede at (716) 435-7468 or

NAME, HOMETOWN                               FUNCTION                                                
Stephen Erbland, Dansville                            Logistics
Ari Gottlib, Rochester                                   Logistics
Michael Hoplight, Niagara Falls                     Logistics
Patricia Jung, Wellsville                                 Staff Services
Sarah Perkins, Pittsford                                 Disaster Assessment
Diane Sargent, Lockport                               Disaster Assessment
Gary Thompson, Finger Lakes Region           Logistics
Mary Walls, Williamsville                              Disaster Assessment

HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week Rolls On

This seems like a relatively appropriate time to blog about lightning, considering the thunder rumbling outside our 786 Delaware Avenue headquarters as I type this. It's even more appropriate since this storm is taking place in the middle of National Lightning Safety Awareness week!

According to the National Weather Service, there have been seven lightning fatalities nationally already this year. Since 1996, there have been 32 documented injuries in Western New York, including seven each in Erie and Niagara Counties. So if thunder roars, go indoors!

Thunderstorms can also cause power outages and flooding. In fact, all of WNY is currently under a Flood Watch because of our current storms. Now would probably be a good time to review these thunderstorm and flooding safety tips to make sure you're prepared. You can also download the FREE Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone and Android and receive NOAA weather alerts so you'll always know what's coming our way.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Red Cross Assisting 11 People Following Apartment Fire on Elmwood Avenue

Disaster Action Team providing food, clothing, and temporary housing as needed

BUFFALO, NY, June 25, 2013 – Volunteers from the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties are currently assisting 11 residents following an apartment fire on Elmwood Avenue in the City of Buffalo Tuesday afternoon. Disaster Action Team members Jose Latalladi and Nicole Roma are providing immediate emergency assistance including vouchers for temporary housing, food, clothing as well as emotional support as needed. Additional units were affected by this fire, so it is possible that more residents will be seeking assistance. Other residents have been allowed to return to their apartments.

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).