The strong storms that moved across the eastern half of the country yesterday produced 15 confirmed tornadoes across multiple states and the American Red Cross launched responses to help those affected in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
In Georgia, Red Cross chapters responded after tornadoes and isolated flooding caused extensive damage in the northwest part of the state. Dozens of Red Cross disaster workers were mobilized and shelters opened to assist those affected. The Red Cross in Georgia is partnering with the Salvation Army to provide meals in the affected communities. Red Cross emergency response vehicles are distributing food and relief supplies and damage assessment teams will pinpoint areas of need in the affected part of the state.
Red Cross damage assessment teams are helping verifying the extent of the damage from the storm in Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky and disaster workers are on stand-by to offer assistance if needed.
In North Carolina and Virginia, the storms caused flooding and power outages and the Red Cross opened shelters to help those affected. In Tennessee, the Red Cross is assisting multiple families affected by the violent storms that swept through that state.
SANDY RESPONSE CONTINUES Meanwhile, hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers continue to help people in New York and New Jersey recover from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. The Red Cross continues to provide food, water, health services and emotional support in some areas, and is still operating fixed feeding sites and providing mobile feeding in areas where there is still a need.
The Red Cross has served more than 11 million meals and snacks, distributed 6.9 million relief items, provided more than 109,000 health and mental health services
The Red Cross is also working closely with government partners on long-term recovery efforts, and the first part of the Red Cross recovery work is already underway. At the request of the federal government, the Red Cross is focusing its initial recovery assistance on an estimated 9,000 families whose houses were heavily damaged or destroyed. The Red Cross is providing resources to either repair their homes or help them move into longer-term housing.
For the next several months, a big part of the Red Cross recovery effort will be working one-on-one with families who need some extra help making recovery plans and accessing available resources. Some need help finding child care, or understanding insurance paperwork. Red Cross case workers will help guide them through the recovery process.
The Red Cross is also supporting the work of several other relief groups, such as helping to fund several local food banks in New York to boost their capacity to serve more meals and help ensure people who need food have access to it, as well as support for Operation Hope’s work to provide assistance and financial counseling to survivors.