Volunteers and staff members from the American Red Cross Central New York Region’s Critical Response Team spent Wednesday, July 9, meeting with the families that were impacted by the tornado that ripped through the Town of Smithfield in Madison County the previous night.
The Critical Response Team includes caseworkers, Disaster Mental Health volunteers and Health Services volunteers who met with the families to assess their immediate needs, offer counseling, and provide medical aid. The team will remain available to the families to provide additional counseling, support and referrals to local agencies that will provide the families with long-term assistance during their recovery.
The tornado, classified as an EF2, destroyed or damaged 10 homes and claimed the life of four people who lived in the area of Goff and Northrup roads in Smithfield.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in Smithfield who lost loved ones and for all of the community members who lost friends, neighbors and co-workers,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Central New York Region. “Our volunteers and staff will continue to work with the families for as long as necessary to assist them with all aspects of their recovery.”
The team members who are responding are from the Central New York and Mohawk Valley chapters in the Central New York Region. The Mohawk Valley’s large DART trailer was deployed and is currently providing health services, feeding and logistical support to the relief operation.
The Red Cross initiated mobile feedings in the evening of July 9, and Disaster Mental Health and Health Services volunteers participated in the feedings to continue their outreach in the Smithfield community. The Red Cross also provided snacks to the emergency responders (mainly sheriff’s deputies and highway department staff), and feeding for community members and the responders will continue in conjunction with the Salvation Army.
In other storm-related news, the Red Cross reception center in East Syracuse (Onondaga County) closed at 9 p.m. July 9 as power was restored to that area. The Red Cross on July 8 opened the center in the DeWitt Community Room at the East Syracuse Fire Department Station 2, where Red Cross volunteers provided meals, water, snacks and an air-conditioned environment. About 40 people visited the center July 9.
How You Can Help
Help people affected by disasters like Tuesday’s tornado in Smithfield by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. Visit redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or send contributions to your local Red Cross office.
Photos: The American Red Cross is providing disaster relief in the Town of Smithfield, where a devastating tornado touchded down July 8. (Photos courtesy of American Red Cross staff members Michael Schwartz and Mallory Brown).