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Disaster Relief Telethon Tremendous Success

My sincerest thanks go out to the people of the Pine Belt, WDAM and our volunteers for a tremendous response to yesterday’s telethon, said Jay Huffstatler, Red Cross South Mississippi Chapter executive.

HATTIESBURG, MISS., WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2013— Nearly $139,000 was raised yesterday during the “Build This City” telethon on WDAM to support American Red Cross disaster relief efforts in Mississippi communities affected by the February 10th tornadoes and subsequent flooding.

"The 14-hour telethon was an amazing event," said Megan Burkes, American Red Cross development officer. "The community came out in full force to support Red Cross, because this is their community, this is our community.”

“My sincerest thanks go out to the people of the Pine Belt, WDAM and our volunteers for a tremendous response to yesterday’s telethon,” said Jay Huffstatler, Red Cross South Mississippi Chapter executive. "It allows us to replenish the resources expended thus far in the relief operation and ensures additional resources necessary to aid Pine Belt residents should future disaster threaten the community."

Disaster Response Update In response to the tornadoes and storms that have hit Mississippi in the past two weeks, American Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) have responded in Attala, Covington, Forrest, Hinds, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Perry and Wayne counties. Red Cross is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local Emergency Managers.

Client caseworkers are in the impacted neighborhoods and on location in multiple FEMA/MEMA Disaster Recovery Centers set-up in the impacted counties. Red Cross caseworkers are helping individuals with immediate, disaster-related needs by meeting with them one-on-one to provide guidance and support during their recovery process. For a list of FEMA/MEMA Disaster Recovery Centers locations and hours of operation, visit

Disaster-affected residents may also visit the following location THURSDAY, February 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for one-on-one Red Cross casework services:

•First Trinity Baptist Church, 621 Mobile Street in Hattiesburg

Red Cross health services and mental health workers continue to meet with families that have disaster-caused health and emotional needs. Red Cross is working with community partners and agencies to identify appropriate resources for any remaining emergency needs.

To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). For a list of items to bring with you to the shelter, visit

The following shelters are currently open but scheduled to close soon. Red Cross caseworkers have been working with the few remaining shelter residents to help them identify resources and transition into a more permanent housing solution.

• Forrest County 361 Shelter on Sullivan Road off Hwy. 49 South in Hattiesburg (Note: scheduled to close at noon on Thursday, February 28)

• Lamar County Community Center at 99 Central Industrial Road in Purvis (Note: scheduled to close at noon on Friday, February 29)

If someone would like to help people affected by emergencies like yesterday's storms, they can visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross Office.

For more information, contact your local Red Cross Office, search “Red Cross Mississippi” on Facebook or follow @RedCrossMiss on Twitter. For a list of Red Cross Offices and contact numbers, visit

Photo Cutline: Brett Favre, Sandra Hodge, American Red Cross Miss Region CEO, and Father Tommy Conway, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, pose for a picture during the telethon at WDAM. Brett Favre made an appearance to encourage the community to make a donation to the Red Cross to assist wtih the disaster relief of the February 10 tornado.