Red Cross Responds to Deadly Severe Weather
Across Six States
Deadliest Start to Tornado Season in 9 Years; Three Red Cross Volunteers from Western North Carolina Region Deploying to Assist
(ASHEVILLE, N.C. - May 2, 2017) – The American Red Cross is helping people in six states affected by record severe storms, flooding and tornadoes in southern Plains and Mississippi Valley regions over the weekend. More than 280 people sought refuge from the storms last night in more than 20 shelters.
Three volunteers from the American Red Cross Western North Carolina Region are deploying to Missouri to assist with the ongoing disaster relief operation. The local Red Cross disaster services volunteers bring a variety of specialized disaster response skills to the team that is coming together from across the country. The volunteers are from Marion, Lexington and Shelby and represent the Asheville – Mountain Area, Blue Ridge Piedmont and Piedmont Triad Chapters. They will be providing families a safe, dry place to stay and food to eat by operating shelters and providing health services, as well as working behind the scenes in logistics, assisting with the movement of resources and supplies to support the ongoing operation.
“Our volunteers are dedicated to helping families when they need it most, whether in their local community or across the country,” said Angela A. Broome, regional executive officer for the Western North Carolina Region. “They step up often with little notice and heed the call to those in need. The Red Cross would not be able to fulfill its mission of alleviating human suffering if not for these wonderful volunteers.”
NATIONWIDE RESPONSE In Missouri, some communities were forced to evacuate due to rising rivers, and more evacuations could occur today. Red Cross disaster workers have opened numerous shelters where more than 130 people spent Sunday night. Flooding also hit central and southern Illinois, so the Red Cross is also helping in that area.
The Red Cross also has shelters open in Arkansas, where the governor declared a state of emergency after residents in Sharp and Fulton counties were forced to leave their homes due to river flooding. In Oklahoma, Red Cross disaster workers opened shelters after the governor declared a state of emergency due to severe storms, flooding and snow affecting a large part of the state.
Tornadoes ripped apart parts of Texas, where as many as 5,000 buildings may be affected. And in Kansas, a major snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow. The Red Cross has shelters open in both states.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, 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 free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
VOLUNTEERING The time and talent of every volunteer makes a real difference in people’s lives. Those interested in volunteering should visit www.redcross.org/nc today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like floods, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.
You also may help by donating blood. Blood collection in areas impacted by storms such as these drops significantly yet need often increases. Visit www.redcrossblood.org for a collection location or blood drive near you.