On May 19, the first in a series of deadly tornadoes hit Oklahoma. One month later, trained Red Cross caseworkers and other disaster volunteers continue to help and comfort Oklahomans with food, relief supplies, health services and emotional support.
“We will be in Oklahoma for as long as we’re needed—to make sure people’s immediate needs are met, and to ensure they have the resources for long-term recovery,” said Trevor Riggen, vice president of Disaster Operations at the Red Cross.
Thanks to the public’s generosity, the Red Cross has received approximately $26.5 million in donations and pledges for its response to the Oklahoma tornadoes.
The Red Cross has already spent or committed more than $6 million for its emergency response and initial assistance to families in Oklahoma, and estimates that this will grow to $7 million to $9 million. This has included:
The Red Cross also plans to allocate another $3 million to $5 million to provide assistance for families who, working with caseworkers, will receive help with unmet emergency needs and recovery planning. This could include assistance with transportation needs, home repairs, security deposits for new housing, storage of belongings and other needs. In the month since the first tornado, the Red Cross has opened more than 4,600 cases and provided services to over 5,000 families through the Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs).
Working together with local, state and federal partners, the Red Cross is drawing up additional plans on how it will continue to support Oklahoma communities. While needs may change, the Red Cross at present is prepared to support funding in five areas: