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Tornadoes Strike Again - Red Cross Helping

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Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this latest round of storms

The American Red Cross is on the ground today in the Midwest offering people shelter, food and comfort after yet another round of devastating tornadoes in this part of the country.

More than 1,100 Red Cross workers were in Oklahoma when the tornadoes hit the area Friday and were forced to take shelter during the storm. They are back up and running again today, helping to assess the new tornado damage and provide shelter, meals and supplies in the affected areas as conditions permit. The Red Cross is working with officials in both Oklahoma and Missouri to get help to where it is needed.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this latest round of storms,” said Trevor Riggen, vice president of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “We’re working with local authorities to get help as quickly as possible to communities who have been in the path of the severe weather in the past few days. The Red Cross will be on the ground for some time providing comfort and support as people recover.”

SAFE AND WELL The Red Cross has several ways people can let loved ones know they are safe. People can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website by visiting www.redcross.org and clicking on the “List Yourself or Search Registrants” link under “How to Get Help”. Those who can’t access a computer can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and one of our operators can help them register. From a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell and click on the “List Yourself as Safe and Well” or “Search for friends and family” link. People can also use the “I’m Safe” feature of the free Red Cross tornado app.

TORNADO APP Weather experts say the severe weather will continue today, with tornadoes and thunderstorms possible. The heavy rain has caused widespread areas of flash flooding, which is expected to worsen as the storms continue. 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. 

TORNADO SAFETY As people begin to deal with the aftermath of the tornadoes, the Red Cross reminds them to return to their neighborhood only when officials say it is safe to do so. They should also:

  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes.
  • Avoid fallen power lines or broken gas lines - immediately report them to the utility companies.
  • If someone smells gas or hears a hissing noise, they should open a window, get everyone out of the building immediately and call the gas company or fire department
  • Use flashlights, not candles when examining buildings.
  • FLOOD SAFETY People should listen to local media and NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and be prepared to evacuate quickly. If a flood or flash flood warning is issued, people should head for higher ground and stay there. Other steps include:

  • Stay away from floodwaters. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you encounter flooded roads while driving, turn around and go the other way. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood danger.
  • 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 www.redcross.org, 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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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