The P.E.I. Red Cross launched an appeal this week for victims of Hurricane Harvey and has already received several donations, with more coming in every day.
Terri Jane Taylor, acting provincial director with the P.E.I. Red Cross, said the American Red Cross asked for financial rather than material support because it is easier to get it where it is needed most.
Taylor, who has family in the Houston area, said that anything the P.E.I. Red Cross can do to help will be done.
“It looks so devastating, you feel so helpless here, so far away,” she said.
“The fact that we’re able to donate and get some help down there makes us feel a little bit better in terms of what we can do to help.”
The American Red Cross is currently in the rescue phase of its operations in Houston — housing people, keeping them comfortable and safe, attending to any medical needs, and getting them into shelters, said Taylor.
Another part of the rescue phase is reuniting families that have been separated after leaving their homes due to the flooding, something that was particularly difficult for Taylor to watch on a news cast Wednesday.
“A man was looking for his father,” she said.
“It’s quite disturbing how people can get separated from their loved ones.”
‘Certainly on standby’
Taylor said the money donated will be used to support the temporary housing of victims, and like the Fort McMurray wildfire, financial aid will then be directed to the rebuilding phase of the operation.
She also said the P.E.I. Red Cross could have a call centre operational quickly if demand warrants.
“We have volunteers and staff that are trained and we could be up and running in 12 hours,” she said.
“We’re certainly on standby.”
Taylor said staff and volunteers of the P.E.I. Red Cross have let the organization know they will be ready to go to work should a call centre open or any other needs arise.
“The support we have is amazing.”