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Red Cross Workers Helping People in South, Pacific Northwest


The American Red Cross is helping people in Alabama after tornadoes devastated communities earlier this week, while continuing to assist people in the Pacific Northwest after last week’s heavy snow and flooding.

In Alabama, Red Cross workers continue to serve those recovering from the destruction left behind by the tornadoes. Shelters are available for those needing a safe place to stay and emergency vehicles are distributing meals and relief supplies throughout the affected neighborhoods. The Red Cross is also going door-to-door in the affected areas to assess what help people will need in the days to come. As of Tuesday night, the Red Cross has already served more than 2,000 meals and snacks and handed out hundreds of relief items.

Across the country, thousands of residents of the Pacific Northwest are still without power. The Red Cross continues to provide relief to people, operating shelters and distributing food and relief supplies as officials keep an eye on a storm which could bring heavy rain and a foot of snow to the already beleaguered region today.

The Red Cross has safety steps people should follow as they begin to clean up their neighborhoods:

  • Return to the neighborhood only after authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your home for damage.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
  • Use battery-­powered flashlights when examining buildings—do NOT use candles.
  • If a gas smell is detected, or a hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly. Call the gas company or fire department.
  • Keep animals under control.
  • Clean up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard.
Ten month old Alasia Johnson grips a Mickey Mouse doll that was given to her by a Red Cross worker. Her family also received food and relief items from the Red Cross following the tornado that hit heir Alabama community this week. (Photo by Tamica Smith-Jeuitt, American Red Cross). Lorraine Brooks turned to the Red Cross for snacks and water when she took a break from salvaging what she could after the tornado that damaged her home in Center Point, Alabama this week. (Photo by Dave Schrader, American Red Cross).

For more information on what to do before, during and after a tornado, visit www.redcross.org.

If someone would like to help people affected by disasters like the tornadoes in the South and flooding in the Pacific Northwest, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, they can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Their gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to their local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.