HATTIESBURG, MS, SATURDAY, February 16, 2013—Hundreds of American Red Cross disaster relief workers are in Mississippi with more arriving over the Presidential holiday weekend.
"Close to 300 Red Cross volunteers are on the ground in South and Central Mississippi providing disaster relief and comfort to those affected by last weekend’s tornadoes and floods,” said Tinika Fails, Volunteer and Training Manager for the American Red Cross Mississippi Region. “Thanks to these dedicated folks, yesterday we were able to provide more than 2,000 meals, 2,000 snacks and 2,000 disaster relief items to people in the impacted areas.”
Many of the volunteers are local or from neighboring states, others are from as far away as Virginia, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“We’ve also seen a surge in local volunteer-response,” said Fails. “Individuals and community partners are signing-up daily to help.” Some of the partnerships include the Volunteer Service Center of Hattiesburg, Latin American Business Association, Masons, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, First Baptist Church of Petal, NAACP, West Point Baptist Church of Hattiesburg, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the City of Hattiesburg-Department of Corrections.
Red Cross continues to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local emergency managers to identify what people need most to assist them on their road to recovery.
Red Cross has established service delivery sites where residents may receive health services, emotional support and disaster relief items. Hours of operations are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Locations are as follows (subject to change daily):
•Lot adjacent to the Red Cross office site, corner of Hutchinson Avenue and 4th Street, Hattiesburg
•Emergency Management Agency office area, corner of Hillcrest and Weathersby Road, Hattiesburg
•The Mission Store, 121 South Main Street, Petal
•Mt. Carmel Church, 1101 North Main Street, Hattiesburg
•First Trinity Church, 7th and Mobile Street, Hattiesburg
•Oak Grove Family Clinic, 5192 Old Hwy. 11, Oak Gove Community
•West Point Baptist Church, 184 Hartfield Road, Hattiesburg
•Ebenezer Baptist Church, 900 East 8th Street, Hattiesburg
•Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 883 Hwy. 42, Petal
In addition to these sites, Red Cross emergency response vehicles deliver supplies throughout disaster-affected neighborhoods.
The Southern Baptist Convention and The Salvation Army are partnering with Red Cross for mobile and shelter feeding, and are on the move serving meals and distributing relief items. Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) are in affected communities delivering bulk distribution items and food.
To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app (http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app), visit mississippi-redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). For a list of items to bring with you to the shelter, visit www.mississippi-redcross.org. The following shelters are open.
•Forrest County 361 Shelter on Sullivan Road off Hwy. 49 South in Hattiesburg, Forrest County
•Lamar County Community Center at 99 Central Industrial Road in Purvis, Lamar County
Anyone seeking assistance with disaster-related needs, should contact their local Red Cross Office, search “Red Cross Mississippi” on Facebook or follow @RedCrossMiss on Twitter. For a list of Red Cross Offices and contact numbers, visit www.mississippi-redcross.org.
If someone would like to help people affected by emergencies like the recent Mississippi storms, they can visit www.mississippi-redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross Office.
You can also support your community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Visit www.mississippi-redcross.org and click “volunteer” or call the local chapter.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross Mississippi Region shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supports the supply of about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teaches skills that save lives, provides international humanitarian aid and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit mississippi-redcross.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMiss.
Photo Caption: Ralph Walker, Wiggins, MS. hands out cleaning kits to residents at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Hattiesburg Friday.
Steve Coleman/American Red Cross