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Red Cross Responds to Severe Weather

Threat of severe weather continues.

The strong storm system moving across the country brought severe rain and winds, hail and multiple tornadoes to the Southern Plains and Mississippi Valley yesterday and the American Red Cross is responding to help those affected.

Red Cross workers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana and Missouri responded as the storm moved through the region. Shelters were open in Alabama and Louisiana and teams remain on stand-by in case they are needed. In Missouri, the Red Cross is helping a family affected by the storm and working with local emergency officials to determine if any additional assistance is needed. And in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the Red Cross is working with local officials to determine what help people may need.

TORNADOES POSSIBLE The threat of severe weather continues today across the Gulf Coast, Carolinas and Central Appalachian Mountains. Strong storms and tornadoes are possible in the area and the Red Cross urges people who live in the path of the storm to be prepared for severe weather. Today’s storms would be part of a secondary tornado season some regions experience in the fall and winter months.

RED CROSS TORNADO APP Fall tornadoes are surprising, and dangerous, because they form during the night or early morning hours. You can download the free Red Cross Tornado App to your mobile device. The app features a siren that automatically goes off when a tornado warning is issued, even if the app is closed. This can reduce your chance of sleeping through an actual warning.

WATCHES AND WARNINGS A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in the area. People should be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or someone suspects a tornado is approaching. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar. People should immediately go underground to a basement, storm cellar or interior room of the house.

SAFETY STEPS Some signs of a tornado include dark, often greenish clouds, a wall of clouds or cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or roaring noise. Steps people should remember if a tornado warning is issued include:

  • Go to an underground shelter or safe room if available. A hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is also a safe alternative.
  • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes. Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home. If you have access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, get out of the mobile home immediately and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter.
  • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.
  • If you can’t walk to a shelter quickly, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If debris is flying while you are driving, pull over and park. You can stay in the car with the seat belt on, putting your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.
  • 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.