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Massachusetts volunteers head south after deadly storms

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Our volunteers will help residents affected by the tornadoes

Deadly storms moved through the Southeastern United States over the weekend, killing several people and uprooting lives.

Tornadoes touched down in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia January 20-22, taking the lives of 18 people. The American Red Cross is on the ground providing shelter, food, relief supplies and other support to help people across the area after the tumultuous weekend of weather that brought heavy rains and left thousands without power.

“Red Cross disaster volunteers across the country are responding to severe weather with comfort and support for people whose lives have been interrupted and turned upside-down,” said Ralph Boyd, CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. “Our volunteers will deploy for about two weeks, helping residents in affected areas with financial assistance and offering a safe place to stay after these deadly storms. We will be there, in multiple affected states, standing alongside our partners as these communities recover.”

The Massachusetts Region of the American Red Cross is deploying its first volunteer based out of East Longmeadow today, with an expected arrival into Mississippi tomorrow.

Sunday night, Red Cross and community shelters provided refuge to more than 100 people in Mississippi, Georgia and California. In Mississippi alone, preliminary damage reports show nearly 500 homes were damaged. Throughout the affected areas, volunteers are also providing emotional support and helping to replace medicines and things like eyeglasses.

MAKE A DONATION The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. 

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP With the threat of more severe weather, people should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The Emergency App is available for free in app stores for smartphones and tablets, by searching for American.