A week after devastating tornadoes struck Shawnee and Moore, Okla., the American Red Cross is continuing its relief efforts—distributing truckloads of relief supplies, while also providing food, comfort and shelter to those affected by these disasters.
Relief supplies distributed include pet food, batteries, sunscreen, coolers, buckets, gloves, dust masks, trash bags, flashlights, tarps, shovels, rakes and blankets.
This Memorial Day, Red Cross disaster workers are continuing to support shelters, kitchens, community centers and emergency aid stations where people can find a safe refuge, food and snacks, emotional support, relief supplies, health care services and information about what other help is available.
Working with the Medical Reserve Corps, Red Cross volunteers are also providing crisis counseling, spiritual support, first aid and helping people replace prescriptions and other items like eyeglasses.
RESPONSE EFFORTS TO DATE The Red Cross has brought staff, equipment and supplies from across the country to help tornado survivors throughout Oklahoma over the past week. This is a large response which has included:
Committed to helping all those affected by the many tornadoes this past week, the Red Cross tracked down an isolated neighborhood in Luther, Okla. after a message on the social media tool, Twitter was posted about people in need. The Red Cross was able to locate the residents with help from the social media community and sent an emergency response vehicle with relief supplies and hot meals.
“Having it (food) brought out here to us is a huge blessing,” said Michelle from that neighborhood in Luther. “It’s a huge gift.”
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY In the weeks and months ahead, the Red Cross will remain in these affected areas to help people get back on their feet and on the road to recovery.
Four Multi-Agency Resource Centers are open where residents can access Red Cross resources, as well as resources available from other organizations. Red Cross workers are meeting one-on-one with people on matters such as family reunification, funeral assistance, emergency needs and recovery planning. This work is being done in close coordination with federal, state and local officials, businesses and the non-profit community around recovery and preparedness activities.
To assist with the needs of children, the Red Cross is working with Save the Children and Children’s Disaster Services, visiting shelters, community centers, churches and after-school programs.
RED CROSS TORNADO APP: The free Red Cross tornado app has been downloaded 167,000 times in the past week (May 17-24) – that’s nearly 450,000 downloads since it was launched in early March.
The Red Cross continues to update information and features on the app. A “Get Help” section has been added to the “Prepare” tab of the Tornado App for those in Oklahoma affected by the tornadoes. It includes links to feeding and aid stations in Moore, the FEMA disaster recovery center locator, Red Cross disaster coping tips and the Twitter feeds of FEMA’s Oklahoma region and the Red Cross Oklahoma City chapter.
The Red Cross Tornado App is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. The free 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.
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.
Visit Oklahoma & Midwest Tornadoes for the latest information.