The American Red Cross will consolidate its two Lehigh Valley shelters (on City Line Road and at Ag Hall) on Friday at 8 a.m. into one shelter at the Dieruff High School gymnasium, 815 N. Irving St. in Allentown.
The shelter is open to residents and their pets in need of a safe place to stay due to prolonged power outages or damage to their homes from storm Sandy.
The consolidation allows the Red Cross to turn the two original shelters back to their owners and also allows the agency to pool its resources at one location.
Current residents at both shelters were briefed this afternoon about the move.
Transportation to Dieruff will be provided by LANTA to current shelter residents, if needed. Lehigh Valley CART (County Animal Response Team) will ensure that pets are transported safely to the new location to be near their owners.
Cots, blankets, meals and emotional care will be provided by the Red Cross. Limited hot water will be accessible for showering.
There is also a hurricane shelter for pets in Salisbury Township.
For the Red Cross shelter, residents should bring personal toiletry items and towels. Entrance to the shelter is through the gymnasium entrance in the back of the school. Parking is available at the school.
The shelter is open to non-overnight residents as well to charge electronic devices, get warm and receive a hot meal.
“We are indebted to everyone at UGI and Agricultural Hall for opening their doors to the Red Cross to shelter residents during this dangerous storm,” said John R. Hughes, regional CEO for the Red Cross. “The staff at both facilities was very accommodating to residents and volunteers. This shelter was made possible by a strong partnership with Lehigh and Northampton counties emergency management services, Salvation Army, CERT, the volunteer medical corps, county health bureaus, area churches and many other agencies, businesses and individuals.”
In addition to the shelter at Dieruff High School, a mega-shelter was established earlier this week at East Stroudsburg University’s Kohler Field House, 200 Prospect St. in East Stroudsburg. The shelter is managed by FEMA and supported by the Red Cross.
Anyone going to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
- Prescriptions and emergency medications
- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
- Identification to show residence is in affected area, and important personal documents
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
HOW TO HELP: Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.