Red Cross Responds to Tornadoes, Flooding, Wildfires

Red Cross Responds to Tornadoes, Flooding, Wildfires
Red Cross caseworkers are helping people with family reunification, funeral assistance, emergency needs and planning their recovery.

The American Red Cross is helping people across several states affected by flooding, severe weather and wildfires while continuing to help people in Oklahoma impacted by last week’s devastating tornadoes.

Flooding has caused damage and forced evacuations in Texas, Iowa and Alaska, and the Red Cross is responding. Shelters are open near San Antonio and in Butler County, Iowa, where floodwaters forced people from their homes. Flooding is also occurring in remote areas along the Yukon River in Alaska and Red Cross workers are on the way to help those affected.

Severe weather, including a possible tornado, caused destruction in Sangamon County, Illinois, and the Red Cross opened shelters. And near Santa Barbara, California, where a wildfire has already burned more 1,000 acres, the Red Cross also has a shelter open for residents and campers forced to evacuate the area.

OKLAHOMA RESPONSE The Red Cross is working with federal, state and local officials to help people recover from the tornadoes and be prepared should more severe weather occur. Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food, relief supplies, emotional support and recovery assistance in Moore, Shawnee and other Oklahoma communities devastated by the tornadoes.

More than 880 Red Cross disaster workers are supporting shelters, kitchens, community centers and emergency aid stations in the tornado-torn neighborhoods where people can find refuge, food, emotional support, relief supplies, health care services and information about what other help is available. Almost 400 people spent Monday night in shelters in Oklahoma.

The Red Cross has 45 emergency response vehicles traveling through the area, distributing food and more than 27,000 relief supplies including pet food, batteries, sunscreen, coolers, buckets, gloves, dust masks, trash bags, flashlights, tarps, shovels, rakes and blankets. Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross has provided nearly 170,000 meals and snacks. Red Cross health and mental health workers are working with the Medical Reserve Corps and have made almost 5,000 contacts, providing crisis counseling, spiritual support, first aid and other services like helping people replace prescriptions and items like eyeglasses.

Red Cross caseworkers are helping people with family reunification, funeral assistance, emergency needs and planning their recovery.

BE PREPARED More severe weather is predicted for the region this week and the Red Cross is ready to expand the relief response if necessary. People can download the free Red Cross Tornado App to help stay informed. The app includes important things such as a high-pitched siren and tornado warning alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued. More than 167,000 people have already downloaded the app this month and there have been almost 450,000 downloads since its launch in March. The Red Cross Tornado App is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. 

HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. You can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

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.

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