How to help Kentucky flood victims

As search and rescue crews comb the Appalachian foothills for flood survivors, the Red Cross is sending 200 volunteers from across the country to the area.

About seven of them are from the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region of the Red Cross, said Ashley Henyan, communications director.

“This is something they train for throughout the year,” said Henyan. “Some folks specialize in feeding and sheltering,” she said of the volunteers’ areas of expertise.

“They are providing mental health services and even spiritual care.”

The disaster site is large, spanning nine counties in eastern Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri. Torrential rains, caused by 1-in-1,0000-year storms, sparked mudslides and landslides.

Scientists blame climate change and warn of more to come.

Thousands of people in Kentucky are still in the dark. The death toll, currently at  is expected to rise.

In December, a late-season, record-breaking tornado rumbled across parts of western Kentucky, killing 22 people and damaging thousands of homes.

Henyan said it’s the back-to-back emergencies are impacting the nation’s disaster response.

“There is a rise in the occurrence of these large-scale emergencies. They’re happening more frequently,” she said. “We really don’t know when or where they’re going to occur. But, what we can do is be prepared.”

When disaster strikes, Henyan said many people call asking how they can help the nonprofit. She said the best way is by giving.

“There is always a need for financial donations,” said Henyan. “The Red Cross depends on the generosity of donors to send volunteers to heavily impacted areas.”

To help in the effort, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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