The American Red Cross is helping people in 13 states affected by the devastating severe weather over the past week that caused deadly tornadoes and flooding – and its work will continue this weekend and in the days ahead.
The Red Cross response to this storm stretches from the Midwest to the East Coast. Red Cross workers are helping people in Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and North Carolina.
Hundreds of people are staying in Red Cross and community shelters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi and North Carolina. Red Cross workers also are providing meals, health and mental health services. As people begin the monumental task this weekend of starting to clean up their neighborhoods, the Red Cross will be handing out relief supplies like brooms, buckets, gloves, shovels, rakes and tarps throughout many affected communities.
In total, more than 1,200 trained Red Cross workers and more than 60 emergency vehicles are helping in the hardest hit communities. As of Friday, volunteers have already served more than 70,000 meals and snacks, and handed out more than 11,000 essential relief items to people in need.
STATE BY STATE RESPONSE In Florida, more than 100 Red Cross workers from all across the state are helping people forced from their homes after the flooding there. The Red Cross has shelters open and is serving meals and essential relief items. Many homes are still without power and Red Cross mental health workers are in those neighborhoods helping people cope as health services teams support emergency aid stations.
The Red Cross in Arkansas has shelters open, is providing meals and will be distributing clean-up items over the weekend. A Multi-Agency Resource Center is opening this weekend in Conway where people can get help from different agencies. Health services teams are supporting residents in the affected areas and helping to replace prescription medications and items such as eyeglasses. Specially trained care teams are helping families who lost loved ones in the storm.
In Mississippi, the Red Cross continues to relief to residents as they recover, with special attention to their emotional needs. Recognizing everyone has been affected by the storms, regardless of any physical damage to his or her home, mental health professionals continue to be in neighborhoods working with residents as well as staffing the emergency aid stations. Well over 100 Red Cross workers, with additional team members still arriving, are providing shelter, food and relief supplies. Five emergency aid stations to support residents are open in communities, including Tupelo, Louisville and Pearl. These sites include health and mental health services and information on resources and the recovery process.
More than 200 Red Cross workers are providing shelter, meals and relief supplies to people impacted by the storm in Alabama. Some areas are still unable to be accessed and Red Cross damage assessment teams are trying to identify the full extent of the damage and the number of families affected. Ten emergency vehicles are traveling through communities to deliver meals and supplies such as rakes, shovels, trash bags and gloves. Mental health workers are comforting people whose homes were damaged. This weekend, emergency aid stations and Multi-Agency Resource Centers will open to make sure residents have the support they need.
Nearly a week after tornadoes damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in North Carolina, the Red Cross is helping residents get the assistance they need to recover from the storm. The Red Cross has mobilized 110 disaster workers who have served more than 4,600 meals and snacks, distributed more than 380 blankets, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies and tarps. A service center is open in Washington where people can receive assistance. Red Cross caseworkers are driving through other damaged areas and meeting individually with families to determine what help they need.
In Kansas, dozens of Red Cross workers are providing meals, relief supplies and emotional support to people affected by the storm. A Red Cross Multi-Agency Resource center is open in Baxter Springs where more than 20 agencies will be available through the weekend to help people begin their recovery.
The Red Cross in Tennessee mobilized dozens of disaster workers who continue to provide services to people in Lincoln, Moore and surrounding counties where tornadoes touched down this week. 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.
Red Cross workers in Oklahoma have opened a Multi-Agency Resource Center in Quapaw and emergency vehicles are delivering meals and relief supplies through the area. In Missouri, the Red Cross continues to provide shelter and meals and distribute relief supplies including clean-up kits, bleach, gloves, rakes and shovels. In New York, heavy rain caused flooding in Brooklyn and Queens. The Red Cross has emergency vehicles riding through the affected areas distributing food and relief supplies.
HOW TO HELP 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 www.redcross.org, 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.