This past weekend, the American Red Cross responded to various disasters both large and small in multiple states. 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.
BUS CRASH In California, the Red Cross is assisting the students and families affected by the college tour bus crash. Immediately after the crash, the Red Cross opened an overnight shelter for the students who were not hospitalized with trained mental health volunteers onsite to offer emotional support. The Red Cross also set up a 24-hour hotline to connect families with further emotional support, travel assistance, and other expenses associated with the tragedy.
In addition, several Red Cross chapters in Southern California are working with school districts affected by the crash, as well as community organizations.
LANDSLIDES More than three weeks after the Oso, Washington landslide, the Red Cross continues to provide food, water, emotional support and financial assistance to Snohomish area residents and their families. Through April 10, more than 400 trained Red Cross workers have served nearly 25,000 meals and snacks in partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, handed out more than 7,000 comfort and relief items, and provided more than 7,100 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. Hotel rooms have been provided for displaced residents and a shelter opened on Sunday where people can access information and additional Red Cross services.
HOME FIRES In Dallas County, Texas the North Texas Region opened a shelter for residents affected by apartment fires Friday and Saturday. Red Cross workers arrived at the scene of the fires and provided families a safe place to sleep.
In Spokane County, Washington, a large apartment fire forced people from their homes on Saturday. The Red Cross Eastern Washington Region opened a shelter for those evacuated and is working with the local government and other organizations for a long term housing solution.
BLIZZARD CONDITIONS In Nebraska, a blizzard closed roads, stranded travelers and affected residents on Sunday. The Red Cross Central Plains Chapter opened a shelter to meet the needs of stranded motorists and residents within the affected area. At the Red Cross shelter, people have a safe place to stay, a hot meal, minor first aid and a shoulder to lean on.
SEVERE WEATHER In Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, severe storms brought rain, hail, and high winds on Sunday. Local Red Cross chapters continue to monitor the situation and are ready to respond if 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.
READY TO RESPOND The Red Cross is able to respond immediately to help those affected by these and other disasters through the support of the corporate members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). Their generous investments enable the Red Cross to be ready to provide assistance whenever and wherever disasters occur. ADGP members include the following:
Wells Fargo; WellPoint Foundation; Walmart; VSP℠ Vision care for life; US Airways; UPS; University of Phoenix; United Technologies Corporation; United; The TJX Companies, Inc.; The Home Depot Foundation; TD Ameritrade; Target; State Farm; Sprint; Southwest Airlines; Samsung; PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; National Grid; Mondelēz International Foundation; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meijer; Medtronic; Mazda North American Operations; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Kraft Foods Group Foundation; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Johnson Controls; John Deere Foundation; Humble Bundle; Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation; H-E-B; Grainger; GE Foundation; FedEx Corporation; Edison International; eBay Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Disney; Discover; Dell Inc.; Darden Restaurants Foundation; Costco Wholesale Corporation; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Community Safety Foundation, funded by CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer; The Clorox Company; Citi Foundation; Cisco Foundation; CHS Foundation; Caterpillar Inc.; BNY Mellon; Bank of America; AT&T; Aon; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; American Express; Altria Group; and 3M.