American Red Cross disaster workers in Nebraska and Kansas are in affected communities to help families who have been hit by the tornadoes and flooding that occurred Wednesday. The Red Cross is focusing on providing safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support, and health services.
“As the response grows, the Red Cross is working closely with emergency management in both Kansas and Nebraska to coordinate additional support and resources,” said Jill Orton, Region Executive. “With a predicted 50 tornado touchdowns throughout Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma the response is ongoing.”
Well-trained disaster action workers from Nebraska are responding to calls for help in: Lincoln, Fairbury, DeWitt, Deshler, Cortland, Hardy, Hebron, and Roseland. They are meeting with families to help them with their immediate needs such as providing food, clothing and or lodging. Additionally, the Red Cross has opened two reception centers in the communities of Fairbury and DeWitt. At a reception center, people will be able to meet with trained caseworkers to talk about the next steps to take toward recovery. Additionally, they will be able to get a meal, hydration, receive any minor first aid and have a shoulder to lean on.
Open Reception Centers:
Fairbury: American Lutheran Church
1111 12th Street - Fairbury, NE 68352
DeWitt: Tri-County High School
72520 Highway 103 - DeWitt, NE 68341
In Kansas, the Red Cross is responding to the following communities after tornadoes damaged homes: Burr Oak, near Esbon, Scandia, and Mount Hope. Trained disaster caseworkers are meeting with homeowners who sustained damage during the storms to start them on the road toward recovery.
“Over the weeks and months to come, the Red Cross will work emergency workers and community leaders to develop a recovery plan,” said Orton.
Prepare now for additional severe weather.
Forecasters are expecting additional strong storms on Saturday and Sunday. The Red Cross urges people to prepare for severe weather now.
“Preparation is the best protection,” said Orton. “By taking a few simple steps ahead of time, you can help ensure that all of your household members know what to and where to go when severe weather occurs.”
The free Red Cross Emergency App makes this easier by providing instant access to weather and emergency alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in case an event occurs.
The app covers 14 different types of disasters including tornadoes and flooding and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts for themselves and where loved ones live. The app contains preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity, and allows users to easily toggle between Spanish and English.
“Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows the app user to notify loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster and find out if they are safe. The recipient can instantly see the alert details as well as specific “what to do now” steps, and then respond with either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe.” This feature works even if the recipient has not downloaded the Emergency App.
Whenever severe weather warnings are issued people should move to an underground shelter, basement or safe room. If that’s not possible, a small windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is an alternative.
If the power goes out, people should:
• Use flashlights instead of candles;
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible; and
• Make sure generators are placed outside the home and away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
Additional safety tips on what to do before, during and after a variety of disasters and emergencies are located at redcross.org/prepare. People can also take Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED courses so they’ll know what to do in case help is delayed. They can get information and register at redcross.org/TakeAClass.
The app is available in app stores by searching for the Red Cross Emergency or by going to redcross.org/apps.
HOW TO HELP:
The Red Cross is grateful to everyone who wants to assist following this devastating disaster. As families are allowed to return home, compassionate Red Cross disaster workers will meet with them to determine their exact needs. The best way you can help those who have been impacted now, is to make a monetary donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. These donations will allow us to immediately help families replace items that they lost, like specific clothing sizes or critical medications.
Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling
1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
Honor Roll: Ready 365 Giving Partners serving Kansas Nebraska and SW Iowa
Through the generosity of our American Red Cross Ready 365 Giving partners, the American Red Cross is prepared before disaster strikes. Ready 365 members help secure a reliable funding base for all Red Cross services including disaster relive which enables the us to respond immediately, meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by disaster, regardless of cost.
Right now the Red Cross is on the ground and taking action with the support of our Ready 365 partners.
Current Ready 365 Gold members are:
• Kansas Health Foundation
• Mutual of Omaha
• University of Nebraska-Lincoln
• Westar Energy
Current Ready 365 Silver members are:
• Apartment Association of Greater Wichita
• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
• Farm Credit Services of America
• Payless ShoeSource
• The Sterns Charitable Foundation
Current Ready 365 Bronze members are:
• AAA Nebraska
• Allied Insurance
• Archer Daniels Midland Co.
• Blue Beacon International, Inc.
• Bombardier Learjet
• Capitol Federal Foundation
• Dillon Stores
• Earl Bane Foundation
• Great Western Bank
• ITC Great Plains
• John Deere Foundation
• Lozier Foundation
• Oriental Trading Company
• Pacific Life Foundation
• Peter Kiewit Foundation
• Pinnacle Bank Arena
• State Farm
• The Ron & Carol Cope Charitable Fund
• Wells Fargo