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Red Cross Ramps Up Relief Efforts in Oklahoma

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 — The American Red Cross continues to expand relief efforts across Oklahoma, with additional kitchens opening today and more trucks and volunteers flowing into the state.

Already this week, more than 200 Red Cross disaster workers in Oklahoma have opened shelters, kitchens and emergency aid stations. In these locations, people can find a safe refuge, food and snacks, emotional support, health care services and information about what other help is available.

Shelters are also open in Texas after the recent tornadoes there. More than 380 people spent Tuesday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Oklahoma and Texas. Red Cross health services volunteers are working with the Medical Reserve Corps to visit the injured in local hospitals and offering services at the emergency aid stations like helping people replace prescriptions and other medical items. Spiritual Care teams are working with partners to comfort people affected by the storm.

“The Red Cross is on the ground in Oklahoma helping people begin the recovery process after this tragic storm,” said Trevor Riggen, vice president of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “We’re expanding our relief efforts as more workers, equipment and supplies arrive. Over the next few days, Red Cross volunteers will also work with many of the affected families to meet emergency needs and connect them with recovery resources.”

Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, two kitchens will be serving meals today. They have the capability of cooking tens of thousands of meals a day if needed. Trailers of relief supplies have been shipped to the area, including things like comfort items containing personal toiletries and relief items including coolers, buckets, gloves, dust masks, trash bags, flashlights, tarps, shovels, rakes and blankets. Almost 30 emergency response vehicles are in Oklahoma to travel through neighborhoods, distributing food and relief supplies to those in need. Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern will visit the relief effort today with Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

HOW TO HELP 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, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

Contact: Public Affairs Desk, Telephone: (202) 303-5551, FOR MEDIA ONLY

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies 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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.