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Red Cross Responds to Wildfire, Tornadoes, Flooding

Service Delivery

Red Cross emergency vehicles deliver relief supplies and water and snacks to residents in Mayflower, Arkansas after last week’s tornado. Red Cross photo by Jason Colston.

More than 1,900 Red Cross workers are helping people across 14 states.

The American Red Cross is helping people affected by the wildfire which began Sunday in Oklahoma while continuing to assist thousands of people across the Midwest and southeast impacted by last week’s floods and tornadoes.

More than 1,900 Red Cross workers are helping people across 14 states, providing shelter, meals, relief supplies, health and mental health services. The Red Cross has served 134,000 meals and snacks, provided 1,300 overnight stays in shelters and handed out more than 51,000 relief items responding to last week’s storm.

OKLAHOMA WILDFIRE Red Cross workers are helping residents who live near Guthrie, Oklahoma where a wildfire has consumed thousands of acres and destroyed several structures. People have had to evacuate from several areas. The Red Cross has a shelter open and is providing meals for those affected as well as emergency responders. Emergency vehicles will be out today, distributing meals and relief supplies and caseworkers will meet with individuals to help them get the assistance they need.

TORNADO, FLOOD RESPONSE Early estimates show about 2,500 homes across eight states were destroyed or heavily damaged by the tornadoes or floods. Shelters remain open in Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Missouri. In Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Arkansas and North Carolina, people are back in their neighborhoods, starting to clean up after the storm.

More than 70 Red Cross emergency vehicles are distributing meals and relief supplies. Emergency aid stations are open in multiple states where health service workers are helping to replace things like lost prescription medications and eyeglasses. Mental health workers are also on hand, offering comfort as people cope in the aftermath of the storm. Multi-Agency Resource Centers will be opening where people come to one location and get help from various organizations and agencies.

More information about the Red Cross response is available in this slide show and accounts by survivors of how the Red Cross is helping them recover from this severe weather.

HOW TO HELP The tornadoes and floods destroyed entire neighborhoods and the Red Cross will continue to offer support and assistance for weeks to come as people recover. 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, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.


FLORIDA More than 100 Red Cross workers are providing shelter and helping to replace prescription medications and items such as eyeglasses. Red Cross volunteers and emergency response vehicles are fanning out through affected areas to deliver meals and relief supplies, such as rakes, shovels, trash bags, etc. Meals are also being served at additional distribution sites.

ARKANSAS The Red Cross is providing meals and distributing clean-up items in the hardest hit areas. A Multi-Agency Resource Center is open where people can get help. Disaster partners providing care in addition to the Red Cross include Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Arkansas Baptist, Small Business Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Samaritans Purse and The Billy Graham Association. Three emergency aid stations are also open where people can get a hot meal, pick up relief items and connect with Red Cross health services and emotional support teams.

MISSISSIPPI More than 200 Red Cross workers are providing shelter, emotional support, meals and relief supplies to people impacted by the storm. Red Cross damage assessment teams continue to work to identify the full extent of the damage and the number of families affected. Emergency vehicles are traveling through communities to deliver supplies such as rakes, shovels, trash bags and gloves. Mental health workers are comforting people whose homes were damaged. Emergency aid stations and Disaster Resource Centers are open to make sure residents have the support they need.

ALABAMA More than 250 Red Cross workers are in Alabama providing shelter, meals, supplies, and hope to those impacted by the recent severe weather. Red Cross volunteers are using emergency response vehicles to deliver meals and relief supplies such as rakes, shovels and trash bags. Meals and relief items are also available at fixed sites. Emergency Aid Stations are open at several locations staffed with trained Red Cross disaster workers who are assisting people with recovery information, referrals, casework services and emotional support.

NORTH CAROLINA The Red Cross is meeting with families to discuss recovery plans and provide additional assistance in Beaufort, Chowan, Perquimans and Pasquotank counties. Over the weekend the Red Cross distributed nearly 2,000 clean up and recovery supplies including gloves, hand sanitizer, storage containers, sunscreen, bug spray, heavy duty trash bags, tarps, rope, duct tape, first aid kits, rakes and children’s items. The Red Cross has mobilized 147 disaster workers who have served 4,819 meals and snacks; distributed 2,229 relief supplies including blankets, comfort kits with hygiene items, clean up kits, and tarps; provided individualized recovery support to 217 residents.

KANSAS A team of more than 75 Red Cross volunteers are providing for the emergency needs of families in Baxter Springs where an EF-2 tornado struck more than 100 homes last week. The Red Cross has provided nearly 5,000 meals and snack items and distributed more than 2,700 relief items including clean up kits, comfort kits, shovels, gloves and rakes.

TENNESSEE Dozens of disaster workers are helping people in Lincoln, Moore and surrounding counties where tornadoes touched down. Red Cross emergency vehicles are distributing food to emergency workers and clean-up crews and providing cleaning items to people affected in remote areas. Working with the Salvation Army, the Red Cross is providing food and operating a first aid station and Multi-Agency Resource Center where affected families can get help from several agencies.

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.