The American Red Cross is working around the clock to bring relief, support and comfort to people in Texas affected by this week’s tornadoes.
Red Cross workers are operating shelters, providing meals, distributing disaster supplies and meeting with families whose neighborhoods were damaged, as well as supporting first responders and organizations like the Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Convention.
One group helping is Home Depot, whose store employees are helping clean up affected communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. About 180 Home Depot workers are boarding up broken windows, replacing smashed fences and clearing downed trees and debris from people’s yards. Red Cross workers are making sure they have water, snacks and food while working under the warm Texas sun. “We were thrilled to see the Red Cross trucks coming around the corner,” said Trina Booker, Home Depot store manager. “It’s just great to know your Red Cross volunteers are here to help us as we are helping others.”Home Depot employees volunteer to help with Red Cross services following the tornadoes that hit the Dallas Ft. Worth area in April 2012. Photo Credit: Rusty Surette/American Red Cross
SAFETY STEPS The Red Cross reminds those affected that they should not return to their neighborhoods until authorities say it is safe to do so. Other safety steps include:
- Stay out of damaged buildings.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes when examining homes for damage.
- Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
- Use battery-powered flashlights when examining buildings—do NOT use candles.
- If someone notices a gas smell or hears a hissing noise, they should open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly. They should also call the gas company or fire department.
- Keep animals under control.
- Clean up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard.
April is historically a busy month for tornadoes in the United States. People can visit the preparedness section of the Red Cross website for more information about what to do if a tornado threatens.
HOW TO HELP People can help those affected by disasters like the tornadoes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.
ANNUAL DISASTER GIVING PROGRAM The Red Cross is able to respond quickly when emergencies happen with the help of corporations who are members of the organization’s Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). ADGP members pledge donations on an ongoing basis to allow the Red Cross to pre-position supplies and be ready to take immediate action when disasters occur.
ADGP members include 3M, Altria Group, Aon, Bank of America, Caterpillar Inc., Cisco Foundation, Citi Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Dell, Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Johnson Controls, Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods, Lowe's Companies, Inc., Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Optum, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Ryder Charitable Foundation, Southwest Airlines, State Farm, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare, UPS, Walmart, The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo.