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How to help flood victims

By Natalie Angley, CNN
Emergency workers survey flood damage Sunday in Burlington, North Dakota.
Emergency workers survey flood damage Sunday in Burlington, North Dakota.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Organizations mobilize to help people affected by recent floods
  • Clothes, household goods and clean-up supplies are needed
  • If you want to help, donations can be as simple as sending a text

(CNN) -- This year's historic flooding of the Mississippi, Missouri and now the Souris rivers has forced thousands across the Midwest to evacuate -- leaving some with a fear of losing everything.

Organizations like the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army have stepped in to help flood victims in hard-hit areas, and there are ways you can help those in need.

When the Souris River reached record highs this month, the Red Cross opened two shelters in Minot, North Dakota, where around 200 people have spent each night since June 22.

Along with providing a place to sleep and food to eat, mental health workers are also on hand to provide emotional support to those who need it.

Natural disasters like floods can take weeks to unfold and add stress to displaced residents.

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"We're trying to do as much as we can to make people feel safe and comfortable," said Matt McDade, a mental health worker volunteering in a Minot shelter.

The reality sinks in at different times that their homes are underwater, he said.

"We provide 24-hour care. I slept here last night. If someone wakes up at three in the morning and needs to talk, someone's here to lend an ear," McDade said. "By being compassionate and providing support, they know that they're not alone."

The Red Cross also has four shelters open in Nebraska and Iowa and is providing water and snacks to people sandbagging along the Missouri River.

To support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund, visit the website, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army is helping flood victims in North and South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

In Minot and neighboring communities, Salvation Army teams are providing food and drinks, emergency supplies and emotional support to those who need it.

Call The Salvation Army in Minot at 701-838-8925 for ways to volunteer.

Clothes and gently-used household goods can be donated to the Salvation Army thrift store in Minot or at your local store. Items that are not sent to Minot will be used for future disaster relief efforts.

To make a $10 donation to flood victims there, text "MINOT" to 80888 and reply "yes" to the confirmation text.

To donate to The Salvation Army's flood response in South Dakota, Iowa or Nebraska go online or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Clean-up kits are also needed in Omaha, and The Salvation Army is helping to provide supplies to flood victims.

Supplies needed include buckets, rubber gloves, disinfectant, brushes, brooms, mops, bottled water and safety goggles.

Donations may be dropped off at The Salvation Army, any Omaha Fire Station, Action News 3 or Journal Broadcast Radio.

Volunteers are also needed to help mobile feeding units provide food and drinks to emergency workers along the Missouri River. More than 21,000 people have been served since the end of May.

If you would like to help with the mobile feeding unit, contact Ginger Noel at The Salvation Army's Kroc Center at (402) 905-3519 or e-mail ginger_noel@usc.salvationarmy.org.

For all other volunteer opportunities, contact Kay Weinstein at (402) 898-6000 or e-mail her at kay_weinstein@usc.salvationarmy.org.

 
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