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Local Red Cross response to Isaias enters second week


It’s been over a week since Tropical Storm Isaias tracked through the region, causing widespread flash flooding. Another round of thunderstorms Friday evening only added to the problems, causing new evacuations in Chester County.

As of Monday morning, the Red Cross still had more than 350 people staying in various shelters through Southeastern Pennsylvania. The majority are from Philadelphia’s Eastwick section as well as Delaware County. Since last Tuesday the Red Cross has received more than 200 calls for assistance from residents of flooded homes.

The Red Cross has at least 95 disaster workers providing care and comfort to those affected by the flooding. They are helping in shelters, serving meals, distributing clean up supplies and providing health services in shelters. In addition, several teams have been out assessing damage, and the Red Cross use that information to provide personalized recovery plans this week to those impacted by Isaias.

As of Sunday night, the Red Cross and its community partners have served more than 1,300 meals and snacks and handed out approximately 500 cleanup kits to residents. Additional cleanup kits continue to be distributed through the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management at Penrose Elementary School, 2515 S. 77th St., in the city.

The Red Cross has the following safety tips when cleaning up after the flood:

• If any gas or electrical appliances were flooded, don’t use them until they have been checked for safety.

• Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water.

• Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.

• Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.

• Be careful when moving furnishings or debris, because they may be waterlogged and heavier.

• Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected. This includes mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys.

• Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud. When in doubt, throw it out. This includes canned goods, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and containers with food or liquid that has been sealed shut.