Tuesday, August 20, 2013

United Way allocates emergency funds to American Red Cross & Lifeline

United Way of Lake County is allocating $8,500 in emergency funding to American Red Cross and Lifeline following extreme flooding that occurred across the county on July 20, 2013.

On Tuesday, August 20, United Way of Lake County’s Board of Directors approved a motion to allocate $5,000 to American Red Cross and $3,500 to Lifeline following requests for emergency funding.

“United Way of Lake County is not singular-focused but rather focuses on the critical needs across Lake County,” said United Way of Lake County’s President Deborah Foley. “When an unexpected disaster strikes our area, our organization is fortunate enough to be flexible with funding so that we can provide emergency dollars to various partner agencies and programs.”

The flooding was so extreme that the Lake County Commissioners issued a local declaration of emergency on July 23 and sought assistance from FEMA. In Willowick, approximately 5,000 of the city’s 6,000 homes experienced flooding in what Mayor Richard Bonde referred to as “the worst flooding the city has ever seen.”

Flooding also affected Mentor, Eastlake, Willoughby, Wickliffe and other areas in Lake County. Due to the amount of flooding and excessive damage, Lifeline’s 2-1-1 received more than 1,500 calls from area residents looking for immediate flood assistance. Because the flood was an unexpected disaster and required immediate response, the 2-1-1 budget was not prepared for the amount of overtime they had to provide for adequate assistance.

Since the flooding, American Red Cross has been involved in relief efforts for residents across the county. The Red Cross performed 3,400 Damage Assessments at homes that experience flooding and has performed more than 47 home visits in Lake County.

American Red Cross’ Emergency Response Vehicles were stationed in multiple fixed locations across the county and distributed bleach, contractor trash bags, clean-up kits and hand sanitizer to residents to help with their clean-up.

The $5,000 allocated from United Way of Lake County will be applied to American Red Cross’ expenses as their total hard expenses exceed $30,000.

“This year’s United Way of Lake County’s Campaign theme is ‘Get Connected’ and we hope the community will help us throughout the next couple of months to raise funds so we can continue to support more than 70 programs that help with children and families, senior citizens, health counseling, health and wellness, basic needs and emergencies,” Foley said adding that the campaign kicks-off on Thursday (August 22). “All money raised in Lake County stays in Lake County to help our own neighbors.”

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