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Red Cross helps Central Iowa Couple Recover after Tornado

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“The Red Cross was such a God send to us,"

When Nancy Madrid and her husband first moved to Iowa in August of 2012, they never imagined they would experience anything like what happened almost two years later. 

On June 30, 2014, the plans that Nancy and Angel had made for the rest of the summer drastically changed. “I remember it being mentioned that there were supposed to be severe thunderstorms around,” Madrid recalled. “But, it didn’t seem too bad when I left for work that day.”  She said her husband usually stayed at home while she worked, but thankfully that day he had a doctor’s appointment in Waterloo and went with her.  “We left for my lunch break, and on our way back to work we got a call. Angel answered and I thought I heard someone say that a tornado had hit our house,” Madrid said. “All of a sudden my husband’s face turned white as a sheet. I was trying to listen to what was being said, but all I could tell was that it was urgent.” 

Instead of returning to work the Madrids raced home.“I felt like my stomach had been turned inside out; driving back there was so much rain and wind.  I had no idea what I should expect” Madrid remembered. When they arrived home, Madrid said she knew immediately that the situation was bad. “The garage looked like a bomb had gone off inside. You could see right through it.  I began to cry because I knew that some of my roommates had been home that day. The kitchen was damaged so badly and there was debris everywhere.”

After seeing the damage the EF2 tornado did to their home and finding out their roommates were okay, Nancy and her husband didn’t know what to do next. “We didn’t have any insurance so we were basically told that we were on our own,” Madrid said, “I was going out of my mind I was so worried, we were able to grab a couple things from the house but other than that we had nothing.”

The Madrids went to their local fire station and talked to the fire fighters about their situation. “The firefighters told us they were going to immediately get us connected to someone at the Red Cross because they would be able to help us,” Madrid recalled. “We had to sit tight for a little bit, but soon we were talking to a Red Cross volunteer named Becky on the phone.  She told us to meet her in Toledo where she would get us set up with a place to stay for the next couple days. Talking to her gave me such peace of mind and helped me not worry so much about the future for a little bit. I knew for now we would be okay.”

They drove to Toledo to meet with Becky, and the Red Cross provided them with money for food and gas since they had lost all the food in their home. “The Red Cross was such a God send to us," Madrid said. They helped us make it through those first two most difficult days, and not focus so much on the future and what would happen next.”

Out of everything Nancy said she is happy that no one was hurt or injured by the tornado.  She still wonders why this happened, but believes that the future is bright. “I will absolutely never forget Becky or the Red Cross. They were the people that were there when we really needed them. In that stressful moment they helped us get rest and relax.  After being affected by something like this you realize how much you must depend on other people, and how much you have to appreciate your life because you really never know what is going to happen.”