The American Red Cross tornado relief effort in Oklahoma will continue through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Emergency aid stations and shelters will be open and disaster workers will be handing out food and relief supplies to those affected by this week’s devastating storms.
In an effort to support the national relief operation, the local Red Cross in Western PA will deploy volunteer Mike Yandura of Greene County. Yandura will serve in Community Partnerships, facilitating relations with faith-based organizations, local and national government as well as corporations. In his role, Yandura will ensure interests, needs, concerns and resources of individuals and organizations are well-represented in the national relief operation. Yandura will leave Saturday, May 25. His deployment is expected to last two weeks.
Ten emergency aid stations are open where people can come to get food, relief supplies, health and mental health care and information about what other help is available. In addition, meals are available at feeding sites and are being distributed throughout the community, along with relief supplies.
RESPONSE: Five Red Cross and community shelters are open in Oklahoma following tornadoes over the past week, and more than 370 people spent Wednesday night in those shelters. The Red Cross has also:
•Provided more than 16,000 meals working with its partner, the Southern Baptist Convention.
•Distributed more than 2,800 relief items including personal toiletries and recovery items like coolers, buckets, gloves, dust masks, trash bags, flashlights, tarps, shovels, rakes and blankets.
•Provided dozens of health and mental health contacts. Health services volunteers are working with the Medical Reserve Corps to visit the injured in local hospitals and helping people replace prescriptions and other medical items at emergency aid stations. Mental health workers are providing emotional support in shelters and emergency aid stations.
•Mobilized more than 300 Red Cross workers from all over the country to help the people in Oklahoma.
•Deployed 30 Red Cross emergency response vehicles to distribute food and relief supplies throughout
•Helped comfort those affected through its spiritual care teams.
The Red Cross tornado response is also continuing in Texas following the May 15 tornado. Wednesday night, more than 40 people stayed in Red Cross and community shelters in Texas. Red Cross volunteers are also providing food, relief supplies, emotional support and comfort as those communities recover.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.
Follow us on Twitter (RedCrossWPA).
About the American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region:
The American Red Cross in Western Pennsylvania serves more than 3.6 million people in 25 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland. Locally, the Red Cross provides relief to the victims of approximately 1,000 disasters each year, facilitates vital emergency communications between military members of their loved ones here at home, and trains nearly 118,000 individuals in vital lifesaving skills such as CPR and First Aid. The American Red Cross is not a government agency, nor does it receive funding from its national headquarters except during times of large-scale disasters. It is only through the generosity of the people of Western Pennsylvania that the local Red Cross is able to fulfill its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or join our blog at RedCrossWPA.wordpress.com.