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Severe Storms Still Threatening – Red Cross Helping

Disaster Response
They’ve given us food and water. The Red Cross took care of us. I can’t thank them enough. They’ve gone above and beyond and have thought of things I never even knew I would need.

The American Red Cross is responding as the onslaught of severe weather continues to plague residents in the middle of the country. Weather experts warn that the threat of tornadoes, hail and damaging winds will continue for the next few days and the Red Cross is preparing to help if needed.

Hundreds of people spent Thursday night in shelters in Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The Red Cross is also responding in Illinois and Michigan after severe weather in those states. Withmillions of people facing the threat of additional severe weather, the Red Cross urges people to download the free Tornado App to help stay informed. The app includes important things such as a high-pitched siren and tornado warning alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued. The Red Cross Tornado App is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. 

In Arkansas, the Red Cross responded in several counties after severe storms and tornadoes hit the state. Disaster teams provided emergency care and will be out today to assess community needs.

Disaster workers from the lower 48 states are deploying to Alaska to respond in Galena where the entire town is affected by floodwaters from the Yukon River. Emergency response vehicles are in Fairbanks helping those who evacuated from Galena. As the floodwaters go down, the Red Cross will distribute relief items to those affected. More ice jams in the Lower Kuskokwim River are expected to cause problems in communities in Alaska’s interior and the Red Cross is ready to respond if needed.

In California, a wildfire near Green Valley forced hundreds of people from their homes. The Red Cross opened a shelter for the evacuees and provided water and snacks for first responders.

OKLAHOMA TORNADOES In Oklahoma, the Red Cross continues to help people after the devastating tornadoes that affected thousands of people in several communities. More than 1,100 Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food, relief supplies, health and mental health services and recovery assistance as people begin to recover from the storms. Trained Red Cross caseworkers are also meeting one-on-one with people to help with their emergency needs and recovery planning.

One of those receiving help from the Red Cross is Kelly Vaughn of Carney, Oklahoma. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “All of the four buildings on my 40 acres are gone”. 

Vaughn came to the Carney Senior Center where the Red Cross set up a distribution center for residents impacted by the tornado. She and her mother-in-law, Janet Young, were able to get some gloves and personal hygiene items. Kelly is just one of the thousands of Oklahomans being helped by the Red Cross in Carney, Wellston, Luther, Shawnee, Bethel Acres, Little Axe and Moore. 

“Everywhere you look, they’re there,” she said. “They’ve given us food and water. The Red Cross took care of us. I can’t thank them enough. They’ve gone above and beyond and have thought of things I never even knew I would need,” she said.

The Red Cross has been helping the tornado survivors in Oklahoma since right after the storms hit the area. Our work has included:

  • 45 response vehicles distributing food and relief items throughout the affected neighborhood
  • Serving more than 171,000 meals and snacks
  • Distributing more than 33,000 relief items
  • Providing more than 7,000 health services and mental health contacts
  • Providing shelter for people in need in Moore and Shawnee in Oklahoma.
  • HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. You can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

    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.