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Colorado Red Cross Workers Deploy to Help Tornado Survivors

The American Red Cross is known for its disaster relief & emergency management efforts.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by these horrific tornadoes. -- Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross Mile High Region

The American Red Cross is deploying local workers from Colorado to assist with its relief efforts in Oklahoma in the wake of devastating tornadoes.

John Miller, a leadership volunteer from Boulder, is flying out at noon today to serve as a Disaster Assessment Manager. Mary Beth Riopel, an employee of the Mile High Chapter, will fly out at 8 a.m. tomorrow to assist the local chapter with the outpouring of public generosity that often follows a disaster of this magnitude. Marlene Husson, a Douglas County resident who has volunteered for the Red Cross since 1991 and has deployed countless times, will also be deploying tomorrow to serve as a Disaster Mental Health Manager. Husson’s skills will be particularly valuable, as she is an expert in mental health support for children who have experienced trauma.

They will be joining dozens of other Red Cross workers already on the ground, working around the clock to provide food and shelter to all those whose lives were affected by this storm.

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by these horrific tornadoes,” said Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross Mile High Region. “We will continue to support our neighbors in nearby states even as we prepare our own people and resources for the local disaster season in Colorado.”

The American Red Cross is helping people in numerous Midwest states with shelter, food, relief supplies and emotional comfort after tornadoes over the weekend destroyed homes and left thousands without power.

OKLAHOMA RESPONSE In Oklahoma, Shelters are open and emergency aid stations will be open where people can get food and snacks, mental health and health care services and information about what help is available. More workers, supplies and equipment are on the way, including almost 30 emergency response vehicles en route to distribute food, water and relief supplies to people in need. The Southern Baptist Convention is joining the relief effort and two kitchens will be available with the ability to make tens of thousands of meals a day. The Red Cross also has kitchen support and relief supply trailers on the way to help those forced from their homes.

This has been a deadly and devastating storm, and Red Cross disaster mental health workers are available to help people cope with the aftermath. We also are operating shelters and supporting people affected by Sunday’s storms in Shawnee and other parts of the Oklahoma City area.

SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS The tornadoes that have hit in Oklahoma, Texas and other states in the past few days are a reminder that tornadoes can strike anywhere, at any time, and the best time to get ready is before the weather turns bad.

• Weather forecasts indicate there could be additional severe weather this week; people in areas at risk for storms should stay informed about changing weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials.

• Download the free American Red Cross Tornado App, available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. The app gives mobile device users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.

• More information on tornado preparedness is also available at redcross.org.

HOW TO HELP People can help those affected by disasters like these tornadoes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.

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/Colorado, follow us on twitter (@redcrossdenver) or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.