Sarasota, Fla., Monday, January 18, 2016 — In the early morning hours yesterday severe weather in Central Florida sparked two tornadoes that ripped through Manatee and Sarasota counties. At dawn trained American Red Cross of Southwest Florida volunteers were on the scene and began circulating through the neighborhoods to assess the damage. Over the coming days, the Red Cross will be working closely with local emergency management and partners to provide additional support. The Red Cross is providing the following information to assist residents:
Residents in Need of Assistance A multi-agency resource center will open today, Monday, January 18, to assist residents whose properties were damaged by the storms in Sarasota County. At the resource center, people can learn about services and programs to help with their recovery. County officials and representatives from the American Red Cross, Florida Power & Light and the county sheriff’s office will be available.
Attendees should bring proof of residency to Edson Keith Mansion at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information, call 941-561-5000 or visit https://www.scgov.net. Residents may also contact the Red Cross of Southwest Florida at 941-379-9300.
Download Emergency App People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App onto their mobile devices. The app includes a warning siren and alert when a severe weather warning has been issued and an all-clear alert when the warning expires or is cancelled. Users can find Red Cross shelters and utilize the app’s “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know they are okay. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/apps.
Tornado Safety Here in Florida, we are at the peak of tornado season and severe weather can occur at any time. People should know how their community will warn them about the storm. Other steps include the following:
Returning Home Tips
How To Cope The ongoing tornado threat is stressful for people in the storm’s path and even more frightening for residents who have faced tornadoes in the past. The Red Cross offers these steps people can take to support each other during this difficult time:
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.