Next step: Getting help

Published 9:36 am Thursday, July 22, 2010

With flooding reported in so many homes in and around Lawrence County, the American Red Cross has already begun making arrangements for some of the flood victims.

Jeff Morris, a spokesman for the Cabell County American Red Cross said, “We ask folks that contact us to also contact Mike Boster at the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency, because they night have other options.”

“We have had several calls from Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln and Lawrence counties,” said Marilyn Meade, American Red Cross Emergency Service Specialist.

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The Red Cross in Huntington offers assistance to the Lawrence County area, as well as other surrounding counties, Meade said.

She also said that anyone needing flooding assistance can call them directly or be referred to by another agency, such as the Ironton Emergency Management Agency.

“We assist with clothing, food, and a temporary motel stay,” said Meade.

According to Meade, the temporary motel stay is usually two to three nights. After that point, if a family is still in need of a place to stay, they are put in contact with another agency.

Morris said that assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis. Some families may need temporary housing while others may only need clean-up kits or comfort kits that contain basic necessities such as personal hygiene items.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Morris confirmed that they had receive ten flood related calls, but only one family had to be placed in temporary housing. He also said that they are waiting for other agencies such as the EMA to survey the damage and make referrals.

On Wednesday, the EMA started going out to survey the damage.

“We’re taking damage information from people,” said Mike Boster, Director for the EMA. “Then we go out an look at the damage.”

Boster said that if at least 25 homes or businesses had major damage, they could declare and emergency for federal assistance.

If federal funding is not available for flood victims, Boster said they refer people to the American Red Cross. He also said that Veteran’s Services and the Area Agency on Aging might be able to help.

Boster said that citizens need to report the damage so the EMA can determine if they need to come out and survey it.

To report damge to the EMA, call 533-4375 or 533-4376. Boster said people can leave voicemails and that they will be retuned as soon as possible.