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South Dakota Volunteer Deploys to Georgia after devastating storms

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Families are just beginning to cope with the devastation, and that means our work is just beginning.

A volunteer with the American Red Cross in eastern South Dakota is in Georgia to assist after dozens of tornadoes and severe weather left a path of destruction in areas of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas and Florida over the weekend.

Brindia Hall left Sioux Falls on Wednesday, January 25, to join Red Cross volunteers from around the country who are providing shelter, meals, health services and emotional support to those affected by the disasters.

“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 Brad Kieserman, Red Cross vice president of disaster operations and logistics. “Families are just beginning to cope with the devastation, and that means our work is just beginning. We will be there, in multiple affected states, standing alongside our partners as these communities recover.”

Reports indicate more than 750 homes have been affected across Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. This number could exceed 1,000 once all inaccessible areas are accessed. In Georgia and Mississippi, Red Cross and community partners have served more than 10,500 meals and snacks, and distributed more than 2,600 relief items.

Brindia has been a volunteer since 2014 and is trained with the Red Cross to assist in disasters both locally and nationally. She deployed four times in 2016, including assisting after the flooding in Texas, Wester Virginia and Louisiana. Anyone interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer can visit redcross.org or call the local Red Cross office for more information.

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 TORNADO to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

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 Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.