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Red Cross Responds to Storms, Flooding in Texas, Oklahoma

Providing Shelter, Food, Relief Supplies

MEDIA ADVISORY – Red Cross spokespeople are available in the affected areas for interviews. Call the Red Cross media line at (202) 202-5551 for more information.

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — The American Red Cross is helping people in Texas and Oklahoma where devastating floods and tornadoes pounded the states over the weekend.

More than 220 people spent their Memorial Day in Red Cross shelters in the two states. Governors in both states declared disasters in more than 80 counties after the extreme weather destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and left thousands without power. Schools are closed in several major metropolitan areas and people are being asked to avoid flooded areas.

“This deadly flooding comes on the heels of three consecutive weeks of severe weather in Texas. Some people have been hit repeatedly and we are assisting them for the second time,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president for Disaster Cycle Services of the American Red Cross.

Since early May, Red Cross workers have opened 30 shelters, served more than 23,000 meals and snacks, handed out 31,000 relief items and cleaning supplies. Nearly 700 Red Crossers are helping in Texas along with 22 emergency response vehicles. Additional volunteers and vehicles are on alert if needed.

“The Red Cross is expanding our relief efforts and mobilizing additional volunteers, vehicles, food and relief supplies to help the thousands of people impacted by these latest storms,” continued Reed. “We depend on financial donations to provide shelter and food, and we need the public’s help now. Our response in Texas alone is expected to cost more than $3 million.”

Texas has been under the gun of a powerful storm system since early May, suffering repeated and ongoing severe weather and torrential rains. The situation worsened over the holiday weekend as more flooding hit the state, including parts of major cities such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Wichita Falls.

OKLAHOMA The Red Cross has been helping people in parts of Oklahoma since tornadoes hit the state in early May. Over the weekend residents were hit with heavy rain, more tornadoes and flooding. The Red Cross opened shelters and workers are providing meals and snacks and cleaning items to those affected. Additional flooding is predicted over the next several days and the Red Cross is monitoring the situation and working with local and state officials to determine what additional help may be needed.

HOW TO HELP A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help provide food, water and shelter for someone who has had to leave their home. Help people affected by disasters like floods, tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.