As of midday Saturday, the American Red Cross was operating or planning to operate 15 shelters in Nebraska and western Iowa for people displaced by the devastating floods. That list included locations at Elkhorn Middle School in Omaha and sites in Council Bluffs, Missouri Valley, Valley, Plattsmouth, Fremont and Bellevue.
All told, the Red Cross sheltered 880 people overnight Friday, said Josh Murray, the agency’s regional communications and marketing manager for Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
Murray said additional shelters could open later.
Area residents can donate at redcross.org/local/nebraska. Monetary donations are better than material goods, which are hard to distribute, he said.
Evacuees are advised to bring essentials, including prescriptions and emergency medications; foods for unusual dietary requirements; identification showing residency in an affected area and important personal documents; extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and comfort items; supplies needed for infants and children, such as diapers, formula and toys; and needed items for the elderly or disabled.
United Way of the Midlands has established the Nebraska & Iowa Flood Relief Fund to help people who lost homes or suffered other setbacks in the flooding.
One hundred percent of every donation will be given to nonprofit programs that provide shelter, food and other services in the Omaha area. Donors also can direct gifts to another flood-impacted community.
Go to unitedwaymidlands.org/floodrelief or text FLOODRELIEF to 41444. United Way also is helping flood victims in Nebraska and southwest Iowa through its 211 Helpline.
First responder AID
Two churches and a radio station are collecting new blankets, towels, bottled water, prepackaged snacks and adult-size socks for first responders who have been working to rescue flood victims.
Donors can drop off items at Community of Christ Church, 2102 Liberty Avenue in Missouri Valley, Iowa; Joseph’s Coat Ministries, 1737 Washington St. in Blair, Nebraska; and at the studios of Boomer Radio, 1016 S. Highway 50 in Blair and 11717 Burt St., Suite 201 in Omaha.
CHI Health has provided about 100 vaccines for tetanus, hepatitis B or both for flood rescue workers. Family Fare supermarket in Blair also is taking donations of nonperishable food for flood victims.