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Red Cross Holds Preparedness Dinner in El Reno, Oklahoma

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Whether or not you all realize it to us it was like relief was in sight, someone has come to our aid

Susan Wright and her grandchildren arrived early at the Elks Lodge in El Reno to grab a hot meal. Before long the kids had left their plates and were huddled around a table covered with work gloves, warming blankets and glow sticks. They were learning what to pack in their preparedness kit.

 “They know what to do now. They said we want to have these glow sticks in tornado season so we can see,” Susan Wright told the Red Cross while watching her grandchildren wave their glow sticks. ”They want to get flashlights and everything they showed them up there in the baskets.”

Preparedness was the point of the day, ensuring that all forty households attending the dinner knew what to do in the event of another dangerous storm season.

“I will be prepared this time, be safe you just never know what’s going to happen,” Ms. Wright commented.
On May 31st, 2013 tornadic storms devastated areas near El Reno causing significant damage.

Katherine Barnes rode out those storms she says in her family storm shelter and when she emerged she recounted seeing her house flooded, all her clothes and shoes gone.

She‘s the first to say she was not prepared last time and she intends to change that this year.

“You all are heroes,” Barnes told the Red Cross. “To a small town like El Reno you all are heroes because that tornado blew us away and whether or not you all realize it to us it was like relief was in sight – someone has come to our aid.”

The Red Cross is helping lead recovery efforts across all communities affected by the May storms and tornadoes through long-term case management at part of the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project.