Barb and Paul Henke (submitted)
FARGO, N.D. - (Gretchen Hjelmstad) – Volunteers with the American Red Cross Dakotas Region have been deployed to assist as severe weather and flooding continue to impact people in several states.
Paul and Barb Henke, of Valley City, are joining Red Cross volunteers from around the country who are providing shelter, meals, health services and emotional support to those affected by recent disasters.
The Henkes left Fargo on Friday morning and are driving a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to St. Louis, Missouri. Red Cross response vehicles deliver food and water to residents who have been impacted. This deployment is approximately two weeks in length, and is dependent on the disaster and the needs of the affected communities.
In addition to providing food and relief items, Red Cross volunteers are opening shelters and providing health and mental health services. After evacuations are lifted and roads reopened, we will be circulating through affected neighborhoods to assess the damage and see how we can best help. In some areas, Red Cross caseworkers are beginning to connect one-on-one with families now to create recovery plans and access additional support.
Barb Henke has been a Red Cross volunteer since 1995 and estimates this to be her 22nd deployment. Paul has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2012 and has deployed approximately a dozen times. They have both assisted in disaster relief of tornadoes and flooding here in the Dakotas. They were also deployed to Hurricane Sandy, Louisiana flooding, and to Saipan for Typhoon Soudelor.
Two Red Cross volunteers from Sioux Falls, SD, deployed to Southeast Missouri earlier this week. Our volunteers are trained with the Red Cross to assist in disasters locally and nationally. Anyone interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer can visit redcross.org
or call the local Red Cross office for more information.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like floods, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org
, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP With the threat of more severe weather, people should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The Emergency App is available for free in app stores for smartphones and tablets, by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.