IEEE-USA helps Red Cross respond to floods in West Virginia

IEEE

RALEIGH – July 1, 2016 — The American Red Cross is responding to devastating flooding in West Virginia that has rendered hundreds homeless.

But they aren’t alone. The Mobile Outreach Vehicle (MOVE), provided by IEEE-USA and staffed with joint volunteers, is ensuring the Red Cross has strong communications support and Wi-Fi on scene.

The MOVE truck is designed to travel to communities ravaged by natural disasters and infrastructure failures. Through its solar roof panels, onboard generator, satellite and wireless communications technology, the vehicle can  recharge power banks, provide real-time survivor information and WiFi via satellite, until regular electricity and data services are restored. The American Red Cross, Eastern North Carolina Region, is IEEE-USA’s program partner.

In West Virginia, thousands of people are without power and gas service and as many as 60 roads are closed because of flooding and flood damage. There are nearly 20 Red Cross and community shelters open across the affected counties where hundreds of people are taking refuge from the flooding.

“Because of the MOVE truck, the Red Cross can bridge the communication gap for folks in the middle of this disaster. People can use the truck’s internet to be able to connect family members, and the truck’s generator to be able to charge cell phones and laptops,” said Barry Porter, regional chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina. “IEEE is helping the Red Cross to alleviate some stressors for folks in an emergency situation.”

HOW TO HELP This is a large relief response and the Red Cross needs the public’s support now. Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like flooding, and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

SAFE AND WELL People can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website so loved ones can see their situation. Those who can’t access a computer can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and a Red Cross operator can help them register. They can also update their Facebook and Twitter status through the Safe and Well website or visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell on their smart phone and click on the “List Yourself as Safe and Well” or “Search for friends and family” link.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding, wildfires and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Important Red Cross flood safety information is found here.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

IEEE-USA (www.ieeeusa.org) serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 200,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE (www.ieee.org). IEEE has more than 400,000 members worldwide. The society’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.

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