The American Red Cross is responding to disasters both large and small in multiple states across the country. Early spring is a unique time of year where the Red Cross witnesses a range of disasters including winter storms, tornadoes, flooding, fires and more. While many of these disasters do not make national headlines, for those affected, the impact is devastating.
FLOODING Heavy rainfall caused flooding across Michigan Monday and the Red Cross opened shelters for residents in the affected areas. In New York, flooding is expected across several parts of the state due to rapid snow melt and heavy rains. Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour are also predicted. The Red Cross is working with local officials and preparing to open shelters if necessary.
TORNADO A tornado touched down in Houston County, Texas. The Red Cross deployed a Disaster Action Team to provide support and comfort to people in the impacted areas.
HOME FIRES The Red Cross in Seattle, Washington responded after an explosion at a 30-unit residential motel with 46 residents. Power, water and heat were cut to all units and Red Cross workers opened a shelter for the people forced out of their homes by the blast. The Red Cross in Atlanta, Georgia responded to a fire at an 18-unit apartment fire in Norcross, GA. All the apartments were destroyed. Disaster Action Team members were deployed to provide assistance to those impacted by the fire.
LANDSLIDES More than three weeks after the Oso, Washington landslide, the Red Cross continues to provide food, water, emotional support and financial assistance to area residents and their families. Since the March 22 landslide, the Red Cross has mobilized five response vehicles and a total of more than 480 trained workers – about half of them from Washington State. Through Monday (April 14), these Red Cross workers have served more than 27,000 meals and snacks in partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, handed out more than 7,000 comfort and relief items, and provided nearly 8,000 mental health or health-related contacts. In addition, Red Cross shelters have provided 140 overnight stays.
Meanwhile, in Wyoming, a landslide continues to move on a daily basis. Evacuation order remains in place for all residences and several businesses in Jackson. The Red Cross of Wyoming continues to work closely with Teton County Emergency Management Agency and other community partners to ensure the needs of all evacuated residents are met. A Red Cross shelter has been open since Sunday where people can stay, receive a free meal and have access to information and additional Red Cross services.
SEVERE WEATHER TODAY Heavy rain and thunderstorms today are affecting millions of people from the South north to New England. Combined with snow melt, there is a danger of flooding in some areas. A cold front will also bring freeze warnings later tonight, along with snow in some parts of the country. The Red Cross is monitoring the situation and is prepared to respond as necessary.
PREPAREDNESS APPS To help prepare for disasters whenever and wherever they may strike, download the suite of Red Cross mobile apps. Popular apps this time of year include the Tornado App and Flood App that include what to do before, during and after the disaster. The First Aid App is another great app to have at your fingertips with expert advice for everyday emergencies such as cuts, burns and other accidents. Download them directly from the iTunes and Google Play app stores.