The American Red Cross continues to feed and shelter people in several southern states who were forced to flee their homes after two severe weather systems brought tornadoes and severe flooding to the area over back to back weekends.
Hardest hit is the state of Tennessee where torrential rains have swamped much of the state. Authorities predict they will find widespread property damage in the inundated areas. The Red Cross has shelters open in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi and overnight offered food and a safe place to stay to more than 500 people. To find the location of open shelters, please visit redcross.org and click on the “Find a Shelter” link.
Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles from neighboring states are enroute to the affected areas, bringing with them the capability of delivering food and clean-up items throughout the damaged neighborhoods when it’s safe to do so.
“We’re only at the beginning of this relief operation, and until the water begins to recede we won’t know just how much damage has occurred,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president of disaster services at the Red Cross. “Right now we’re focused on providing meals and a safe place to stay, but the Red Cross will be there for the long haul to help people get back on their feet.”
If you would like to help, there are three ways that people can make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund: Visit redcross.org to donate online, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
If you have been affected by these storms, register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your loved ones know how you are. For those that do not have internet access, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family.
The Red Cross offers the following steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe should flooding threaten your home:
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
Additional information on flood safety is available on the flood preparedness section of our web site.
Help people affected by disasters like the recent floods and tornadoes in the South, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.