Only one day after tornadoes slammed Arkansas and several other states, severe weather threatened again Monday and tornadoes swept across Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The Red Cross is currently mobilizing volunteers, two emergency response vehicles, and disaster relief supplies to help meet emergency needs for those who have been affected by the tornado ravaged areas in Lincoln, Moore and surrounding counties.
“Our hearts go out to those that have lost their loved ones, homes and personal belongings in this devastating tornado,” said Chapter Executive, Mike Cowles. “We are working to get immediate relief to those who need our assistance.”
The Red Cross is also sending eight disaster assessment teams to the area today and will be assessing the needs for mobile feeding and clean-up supplies. The relief organization encourages people who have been affected by the tornado to heed these safety tips as they begin their recovery efforts today as more severe weather is forecasted this afternoon:
- Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
- If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
- Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately. Stay out of damaged buildings.
- Use battery-powered flashlights when examining buildings – do NOT use candles.
- If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department.
- Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- Keep all of your animals under your direct control.
- Clean up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard.
- Check for injuries. If you are trained, provide first aid to persons in need until emergency responders arrive.
The fastest way to find an open Red Cross shelter is to visit www.redcross.org or iPhone users can download a free Red Cross Shelter View app from the app store. You can also view open shelters through and of our free mobile disaster apps. If you don’t have access to a computer or iPhone, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected to your local chapter. Shelter locations are updated every 30 minutes, so it may take a few minutes for new shelters to appear.
HOW TO HELP: Every year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters ranging from a home fire involving one family to larger disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that impact entire communities. If someone would like to help, they can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.