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Red Cross Helping Those in Need Across the Country

More severe weather is expected...

From east to west, the American Red Cross is busy helping people affected by winter storms, tornadoes and other disasters.

Winter Storm

A large winter storm continues to make its way eastward, leaving many people stranded in one of the busiest times of year for traveling.

In Missouri, near white-out conditions closed an interstate and stranded travelers in Buchanan, Holt, Atchison, Nodaway and Clinton Counties on Thursday. The Red Cross opened five warming centers for travelers waylaid by the storm.

Red Cross shelters were also open in Michigan, Nebraska and Washington on Thursday night to help those affected by power outages and blizzard conditions. As the severe weather system moves east, snow, high wind gusts and rain are expected in parts of the Northeast. More severe weather is also expected to impact the Northwest U.S. beginning this weekend.

Travel Safety

If you must travel while it’s snowing, make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit in the car. Keep your car's gas tank full to keep the fuel line from freezing. Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

If you do get stuck in the snow:

  • Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.
  • Read more about how to prepare for a winter storm.

    Alabama Tornado

    A tornado that touched down in the Mobile, Ala., area on Wednesday has caused major damage to approximately two dozen homes. The Red Cross office in Mobile, along with some of its equipment, were also damaged. The Red Cross has mobilized staff and resources to help those affected by this disaster. 

    Support for Newtown, Connecticut

    At the request of local authorities, the Red Cross has been providing food, water and emotional support for affected families and emergency responders.

    Since last Friday, the Red Cross has served more than 16,000 meals and snacks, and handed out 2,100 items like stuffed animals and blankets in Newtown. The local Red Cross chapter will continue to work with local authorities in order to support the affected families and first responders. This includes connecting families with Red Cross and community resources like mental health services to support them during this difficult time. 

    Hurricane Sandy

    More than 1,400 Red Cross workers are still on the ground supporting survivors through relief work even as the Red Cross begins its longer-term recovery efforts.

    The Red Cross is providing food, water, relief supplies, health services and emotional support in some areas. Trained Red Cross workers are also helping to connect people to recovery resources and working with community groups to identify available support.

    The Red Cross is now focused on how we can help support long-term recovery efforts as the need for emergency services declines. For more information, read the One-Month Update on Superstorm Sandy.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.