Nearly 154 million people in the United States were under some sort of winter weather alert Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Wind chill warnings or advisories are in effect for about 68 million people. Icy roads, power outages and dangerously low temperatures were making life miserable.
The cold air is so widespread that you could travel nearly 2,000 miles from the Rio Grande on the Mexican border to the St. Lawrence River on the Canadian border entirely in winter storm warnings or watches.
More than 5.1 million customers across the country had no power as of Monday afternoon because of the deadly storm system. At least 4.2 million outages were reported in Texas, where rolling blackouts started overnight.
About 3.3 million homes and businesses were without power in Texas on Tuesday evening as a result of freezing temperatures and a deadly winter storm that swept into the state early this week. The entire state saw temperatures below freezing during at least parts of Monday and Tuesday, and utilities have been knocked out or frozen over by the bitter cold — leaving many without primary means of heating their homes.
The cold is believed to have contributed to at least three deaths in the Houston area alone, police said. That includes a woman and a girl who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after a car was running in the garage at their home to create heat because the power was out, Houston police said Tuesday morning. IRUSA has formally launched an emergency effort and will be supporting aid disbursement.
Violent clashes erupted between rival groups has put thousands of bystanders in harm’s way as the conflict has risen to brutal levels in the past days. Over 3,000 people are now internally displaced and staying in makeshift tents for immediate safety. The sudden movement puts thousands who were already at risk of getting illnesses under threat. Islamic Relief is working now to provide critical aid such as shelter materials, food parcels, mobile medical care, and clean water resources.
Heavy rains and flash flooding have affected at least 41,200 people in northern Syria.
Many of the affected families were living in makeshift camps as a result of the ongoing crisis in the area. In one of the assessed camps, 90% of the population is only eating one meal or less per day. Left with nothing, they have little protection from the freezing winter conditions.More rains are expected, which unfortunately means that the number of displaced family is almost certain to rise in the next few days!
Islamic Relief is working now to complete damage assessments. The disaster response will include critical items such as shelter materials, ready-to-eat food packages, and sewage pumps.
Islamic Relief’s global family and partnerships—including local staff in more than three dozen countries—maximize IRUSA’s ability to respond to urgent situations with SPEED and EFFICIENCY. We also maintain the highest standards of BEST PRACTICES and CULTURAL SENSITIVITY.
IRUSA’s emergency aid efforts often include distribution of FOOD, WATER, and CLOTHING. Construction of TEMPORARY SHELTERS and providing VITAL MEDICAL CARE is also a priority.
In the United States specifically, IRUSA’s Disaster Response Team (DRT) serve as first responders for emergencies. From natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires to tragedies like the Pulse and Parkland shootings, the DRT team continues to be one of the first humanitarian teams nationwide to lend a helping hand to people in their most trying hours.
Read below to learn more about our latest emergency responses and how you can help survivors.