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Daily Update: The Red Cross Responds to Hurricane Harvey

Updated Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 11 am

This blog is intended to provide the latest information on resources available and how you can help. If you are in need of assistance please contact the American Red Cross at 866-505-4801.

Local Shelters (DFW)

In line with our fundamental principles of impartiality and neutrality, Red Cross supported shelters welcome any and everyone regardless of immigration or citizenship status.

Should you, or anyone you know, need shelter from Hurricane Harvey or Red Cross services, please call 211. Shelters provide showers, hot meals, snacks, water, sleeping areas, and mobile device charging stations.

Shelter Populations
(includes clients in dormitories and those receiving support services)
Tommie Allen Recreation Center – approx. 91
Grand total DFW – approx. 91

Sheltering Pets

SPCA is working with Dallas Animal Services to shelter pets. SPCA will collect pets as the evacuees are being registered into a shelter. Sisters in Christ Riding Group – Horse shelter locations in Central & North TX. Contact Melanie Strickland at 817-726-7069.

Red Cross Immediate Assistance Program

Thanks to our generous donors, the American Red Cross will be providing financial assistance to Texas households in 39* counties that were severely impacted by Harvey and need help taking care of emergency needs. Right now, we are in the initial phase of this effort. As of Sept. 27, we have provided $142 million in financial assistance to more than 365,000 households who needed immediate help.

This financial assistance is in addition to the other emergency relief efforts the Red Cross is providing in Texas, which includes sheltering, food and other critical immediate support; we have been on the ground in Texas since before Harvey made landfall, and will be to get those affected back on their feet. The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency, and people do not need to be American citizens to receive our assistance.

Registration will remain open through October 10 at

Texas counties include: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton.

Red Cross Emergency App 

Download the free Red Cross Emergency App, available for both iPhone and Andriod devices. This all-inclusive app lets you monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

How to Help

Financial Donation: the quickest and easiest way to help
Text ‘HARVEY’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation
Call 1-800-RED CROSS
Online at

Read more to learn about where your Harvey donations are going, and how the Red Cross uses financial donations.

American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern discusses the impact of monetary donations and how they are used by the organization during the Harvey relief effort.

Volunteer – Sign-up to become a Red Cross volunteer to help during disasters big and small. Volunteer sign-up is also available on

Material donations

  • Potter’s House is currently accepting donations with plans to get them to people impacted by the hurricanes as quickly as possible. For more information, including receiving center hours of operation click here.
  • Due to the incredible generosity of both the North Texas area and the nation as a whole, Trusted World has closed donations. We will continue to distribute resources. We want to thank all of you who donated during this time. Because of YOU, people affected by Hurricane Harvey will receive the supplies they need.
  • Goodwill Fort Worth partnered with the City of Fort Worth and the Tarrant County Office of Emergency Management to be an official relief donation center. The response from the public was overwhelming and the immediate need for donations of these items has passed.
  • Additional donation collection and processing centers can be found by dialing 3-1-1.


Recycle2Support makes donating easy!
Bring in unwanted items such as clothing and shoes, and they will PAY the American Red Cross a percentage for every pound collected. And, as a BONUS, for the first 10,000 pounds collected  the funds will be doubled to the Red Cross to help the victims affected by the flood. MAKE A DIFFERENCE, clean out your closet, and GIVE to those in need.
Donation Drop Off Locations (upon drop off, let the attendant know you would like to benefit the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey.)
Little Elm: 2417 FM 423, Little Elm, TX 75068
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat, 8am-7pm, Sun-10am-6pm

Denton: 1217 E University Drive, Denton, TX 76209
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun-10am-6pm

Community Campaigns

  • Texas Roadhouse will be donating 100% of their profits to the American Red Cross on Sept. 27 from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. at more than 500 of its locations nationwide. All profits will go to help those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
  • Monday, September 11 through the end of the month, Texas de Brazil will host a national percentage of sale campaign in 44 restaurant locations nationwide.  Additionally, for every dessert sold, Texas de Brazil will donate $1 towards American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
  • Gehan Homes will donate $250 for each home sold in September.
  • The Container Store is partnering with the American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Through the month of September, 100% of cash donations made in-store and online will go directly to Hurricane Harvey relief. The Container Store made an initial donation of $25,000.
  • Throughout the month of September, Kim’s Convenience Stores will be running a customer donation program at each of their 25 locations. Customers can choose to donate $1 or $5 to the American Red Cross at the register during check-out.
  • Now through September 30th, all Zoe’s Kitchen locations will be accepting monetary donations at checkout for the American Red Cross. All Zoë’s Kitchens will match a portion of the donations. Guests who donate will receive $3 off their next purchase.
  • Now through the end of the year, all 7-Eleven stores nationwide are collecting donations at registers for Hurricane Harvey relief.
  • Donate a minimum of $25 to the Red Cross through American Airlines and you will receive 10 miles for each $1 donation.
  • Kroger with NBC 5 and Telemundo 39: Donate at cash register coin boxes at 106 participating stores in North Texas and 100% of donations will go to the Red Cross to aid in Hurricane Harvey disaster relief.

Organizations accepting donations in-store on online
Ace Cash Express

Tom Thumb with WFAA


At Home

Blackmon Mooring


Frisco RoughRiders

Nebraska Furniture Mart

Nexstar Media Group


Pizza Hut

Tarrant County

THANK YOU to our generous donors who make it possible for the Red Cross to fulfill our mission of providing aid to those in need:

American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alliance Data, AT&T, Neiman Marcus, Toyota USA, Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Southland Conference, Advocare, Alcon/Novartis Foundation, Alliance Data, AMPEX Brands, Bell Helicopter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, BNSF Railway, Comerica, Federal Home Loan Bank Dallas, Flowserve, Fluor, Fujitsu, Jani-King International, JCPenney, Kubota North America, Legacy Texas Bank, Mr. Cooper (formerly Nationstar Mortgage), Nebraska Furniture Mart, LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express, Pioneer Natural Resources, Texas de Brazil, Texas Instruments,  WFAA, Zoe’s Kitchen.


Red Cross Response to Tornadoes in East Texas

Updated 6:30 p.m., Sunday, May 7, 2017
American Red Cross volunteers continue supporting recovery efforts in East Texas following tornadoes and severe weather the evening of April 29. Affected areas include the counties of Van Zandt, Rains, Henderson, Smith, Hopkins and Wood.

We continue to work with community leadership and partners to service those impacted and encourage anyone affected by the storms to contact the Red Cross at 866-505-4801.

Red Cross Caseworkers Available Starting Monday at Van Zandt County Fairgrounds:

Starting Monday, May 8, Red Cross volunteers will be working from the the Canton Distribution Center located at the Van Zandt County Fairgrounds (24742 State Hwy 64, Canton, TX 75103). They will be able to answer questions and make arrangements for casework. We will remain there as long as the center remains open.

Additionally, volunteers will be working in affected neighborhoods to ensure we are reaching as many people as possible who are in need of assistance.


KLTV Channel 7 Supports the Red Cross:

Tyler’s KLTV Channel 7 will host a telethon to support recovery efforts in East Texas at 7 pm Sunday, May 7. All proceeds will benefit Red Cross disaster relief. Tune in Sunday at 7 pm for or click here for more details.

Consider DFW Texas Roadhouse locations for dinner Tuesday Night:

On Tuesday, May 9, Texas Roadhouse will donate 10 percent of all food sales to Red Cross disaster relief in support of the East Texas tornadoes. Participating restaurants are: Grand Prairie, Bedford, Garland, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Fort Worth South, Mansfield, Mesquite, Sherman, Denton, McKinney and The Colony.

Mental Health Services:

The Red Cross offers guidance and assistance to those who need emotional support throughout the recovery process. To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

Don’t Forget to Call Your Loved Ones:

As East Texans continue the recovery process, the Red Cross reminds them to check in with family and friends to let them know they are safe. Give a call, send a text and be sure to register as “safe” in the Red Cross Emergency App or by visiting

Best way to help:

The most efficient ways to help are to donate time or funds. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign-up to volunteer or if you are interested in making a financial donation to disaster relief, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit us online.

Consider making a donation while you shop at North Texas Kroger stores:

NBC DFW, Telemundo 39 and Kroger are teaming up to help Texans impacted by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. Through May 20, 100 percent of the donations made at the check stand will be donated to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

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Sleeves up, hearts open, all in – even on vacation

By Jennifer Hansen, American Red Cross

DALLAS, Texas – Vacation. For some, the word conjures images of sandy beaches, exotic destinations and (usually) rest and relaxation from the daily grind. But for one husband and wife, ‘vacation’ means an excursion to a disaster site as American Red Cross volunteers.

This year, Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria put the two seasoned volunteers right in the path of Mother Nature’s wrath.

Paul and Ana Gottal met in 1998, during another disaster. Hurricane George had struck Ana’s home island of Puerto Rico and the devastation was extensive. Paul, a Red Cross manager in Virginia, was deployed to help with relief efforts.

Moved to help her community recover and rebuild, Ana signed up to volunteer with the Red Cross and was assigned to Paul’s unit. Not only was Ana a welcome addition to the relief effort, she and Paul were a match for each other; the two were married on Valentine’s Day 1999.

In recognition of the many Red Cross deployments and volunteer commitments they have made since, the couple was awarded the Red Cross Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year.

“Through the years, Ana and I have used our vacation time to volunteer with the Red Cross,” Paul said. “This year we decided we would take a vacation for us, as we have not since our honeymoon.”

The Gottals planned on a Caribbean cruise out of Puerto Rico, with time on the island to visit family. But before they could even get away, they spent a couple of days working on the Red Cross relief operation in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Little did they know that hurricanes would dominate life for days to come.

“Once the cruise started, we were informed that because of Hurricane Irma we would not be able to visit two of the planned (cruise) locations,” Paul recalled, adding that one of the ship’s planned stops, St. Maarten, turned into a relief effort for the stricken island.

Emergency food, water and provisions were unloaded and the ship took on 350 more passengers for evacuation.

“After the cruise, we returned to Puerto Rico to find out another hurricane, Maria, may hit the island,” Paul said.

The experienced Red Cross disaster workers immediately went to work preparing their home and family for the incoming storm.

“As a well-trained volunteer, I made sure we had food and water for a week for everyone,” he said. “This wasn’t easy as the stores had not restocked since Hurricane Irma hit the week before and … everything comes by ship.”

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico with fury, raking the island with torrential rain and winds in excess of 200 mph. The Gottals hunkered down with family in their home.

Hurricane Maria 2017
September 20, 2017. Las Vegas, Cataño, Puerto Rico. Damage caused by Hurricane Maria. Photo by José Llano for The American Red Cross

“The winds blew from 145 to 225 mph for 36 hours. Then it rained for eight hours. Everyone felt like a prisoner,” Paul said. “Our home in Puerto Rico is solid concrete with steel decorative bars. I put up hurricane windows and door covers about 19 years ago, so the home had very minor damage.”

The vast majority were not so lucky.

“It was truly a sight to see large concrete (utility) poles snapped in half or torn out of the ground…walls in the street, roofs gone and windows blown in,” Paul said.

In hopes of conserving food and water for their family, the Gottals decided to return to Texas, or at least try. They arrived at the airport to find a snarl of people anxious to evacuate and precious few flights available. All arrangements had to be made by satellite phone because there was no electricity or cell service.

The Gottals waited one day, two days. Their cell phones died, their patience waned. They waited some more.

Finally, three days in, an announcement was made in the terminal: Minimal cellular service had been restored and users might get a signal on their phones.

“The gentleman in front of us had a cell phone charge pack and let me plug in my phone,” Paul recalled with relief. “I got a signal and was texting my children we were okay when a text from the airline came across saying we were booked on (a) flight.”

Within minutes, the Gottals were called for their flight; after verifying ticket confirmations at the counter (slowly, via satellite phone), they received two hand-written standby tickets and a departure gate. Eventually, they were wheels up en route back home to Texas.

Paul and Ana take their “vacation” experience in stride, and are grateful for their Red Cross experience.

“Now we know what a Red Cross couple does on a vacation!”

More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Red Cross is working around the clock with government officials and disaster partners to help the hundreds of thousands of people on both island territories.

Hurricane Maria 2017
September 26, 2017. Adjuntas, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Red Cross volunteers distribute water, food and other basic necessities to families affected by Hurricane Maria. Photo by Sergio Rojas for The American Red Cross 26 de Septiembre de 2017. Adjuntas, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. Cruz Roja Americana entrega agua, comida y otros articulos de primera necesidad a las familias de Adjuntas afectadas por el Huracán María.

On Puerto Rico, approximately 450 Red Cross workers are helping to reconnect families and distribute critical relief supplies, including more than 500 tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies. The Red Cross has also sent in satellites, portable generators, laptops and power strips, enabling people to charge cell phones to communicate with loved ones.

To learn more about the American Red Cross and how you can help people affected by Hurricane Maria, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word MARIA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.