As Red Cross chapters across the east coast began to ramp up a Winter Storm response for this past weekend’s weather, the Lake to River Chapter (covering the eastern edge of Ohio) began a response of a different kind.
In the shadow of the massive response to the water crisis in Flint, Mich., the Ohio Village of Sebring announced that testing had revealed elevated levels of lead in water from the Village of Sebring Public Water System. In response, the Mahoning County emergency management agency (EMA) has established a bottled water distribution at the local community center (305 W. Texas Ave.)
Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women, infants and children.
The Red Cross has been supporting the volunteers who are distributing water. We have been attending to their needs – providing meals, coffee, drinks and snacks – as they see to the needs of the community.
According to our partners at the Mahoning EMA, the State of Ohio is working to meet the bottled water needs of the community. No donations are required at this time.
Additionally, we continued to respond – as we do every day – to home fires throughout the region. This weekend, alone, we responded to 13 home fires. Through the generosity of our community, we were able to provide financial assistance to these families for things like shelter, emergency clothing, warm coats, food and hope to help them through the next few nights.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering in your community, visit our page www.redcross.org/neo and click on Volunteer in the left-side menu. You can also reach our Volunteer Services department at 216-431-3328 or by emailing, NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.