Thanking volunteers who assisted after the Good Friday tornadoes, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt marked the year anniversary at the American Red Cross St. Louis Area Chapter headquarters. Volunteers from all over the St. Louis area joined him and recounted the long, difficult days recovering from the tornadoes and subsequent flooding.
“In a disaster, the first responders are usually your neighbors and friends, the second responders are usually the Red Cross volunteers, and aren’t you lucky if your neighbors and friends are Red Cross volunteers,” said Senator Blunt. The Senator toured the Chapter with Red Cross Regional CEO Cindy Erickson and learned how the organization is fulfilling its mission “to prevent and alleviate suffering in the face of emergencies.”
“Through our mission, the Red Cross is building resilient communities – communities that are prepared and can recover quickly when disaster strikes,” said Erickson. “With our committed volunteers, the Red Cross is ready to arrange safe shelter, provide warm food and give emotional support to those affected by emergencies.”
Last year, massive tornadoes and intense flooding affected thousands of victims in Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois, leaving them in need of food, clothing and shelter. More than 400 Red Cross volunteers and employees assisted in surveying damage and helping those in need. The St. Louis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross set up 10 emergency shelters and provided nearly 70,000 meals and snacks and distributed 23,000 clean-up items like rakes, shovels and work gloves.