(SAN DIEGO, APRIL 20, 2011) – Eddie Gilbert, local Red Cross volunteer, will be leaving within the next 24 hours to Smithfield, NC to assist families after the devastating tornadoes over the weekend. A volunteer since 2006, Eddie is being deployed as a facilities supervisor where he will work with the facilities team on the ground to assess the condition of any buildings that will house relief operations such as the Red Cross emergency headquarters and shelters.
Following the string of deadly tornadoes and wildfires that ravaged six states across the south this weekend, the American Red Cross is working around the clock to provide relief to those affected. In North Carolina alone, preliminary disaster assessments show almost 500 homes destroyed and more than 1,000 damaged. Some of the hardest hit areas are still inaccessible, and officials say that many more than 1,000 families will be homeless in the state.
Red Cross workers sheltered more than 500 people over the weekend, served meals throughout the affected neighborhoods, and provided personal hygiene items and supplies to help as the clean-up begins. With government officials reporting more than 40 deaths from the tornadoes, Red Cross disaster mental health workers are available to help people cope with the aftermath. Red Cross chapters throughout the south are deploying trained disaster teams into the area and more than 25 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are in hard-hit North Carolina, or on their way to the state.
Since the end of March, the Red Cross has helped people affected by 35 disasters in 20 states. The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help people affected by disasters like these tornadoes and wildfires. There are four easy ways that people can help the relief efforts in the south:
About the American Red Cross, San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter
The American Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people to provide our programs and services. The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter is leading the effort to make San Diego and Imperial Counties “America’s most prepared communities.” With the public’s ongoing support we provide life saving preparedness training; disaster relief services; 24-hour emergency services to deployed military personnel and their families; and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For more information about or to support the chapter please contact (858) 309-1200 or visit www.sdarc.org.