It’s been a little over a week since as many as 12 tornadoes touched down in central Iowa, and the American Red Cross is still on the ground helping those impacted by these storms.
More than 200 Red Cross disaster workers are providing shelter, food, relief supplies and comfort. Red Cross emergency response vehicles (ERVs)are traveling through the affected neighborhoods to distribute relief supplies, meals and snacks. The Red Cross is also one of several agencies supporting a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) where people can learn about what support is available to them. Red Cross caseworkers will meet with affected individuals to help connect them with available resources.
To date the Red Cross has provided more than 55,600 meals and snacks and 220 overnight shelter stays, distributed more than 37,400 relief supplies, provided more than 360 health and mental health services and assisted more than 750 people through Red Cross casework.
A LITTLE HOPE One of the Red Cross ERVs was handing out food and water in the neighborhoods heavily hit by the Marshalltown tornado. When ERV drivers Kyle Morford and Jeff Dorn saw a group of children in the area, they started handing out brand new stuffed Mickey Mouse toys as a comforting gift. When neighbor Lisa Butler saw the toys, she became emotional. The Red Cross gave her a Mickey toy as well and she explained how she had injured her foot recently trying to clean up her damaged home. She says she needed something to lift her up and the Red Cross was able to provide a hot lunch, cold water and a little bit a hope in the form of Mickey Mouse.
You can learn more about the Red Cross response in Iowa here.
The Red Cross encourages people to remain weather aware at all times and to follow these safety tips in the aftermath of a tornado. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency App at redcross.org/apps to receive emergency alerts as well as locations of shelters. Users can also find the app in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross.
Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
Stay out of damaged buildings.
Use battery-powered flashlights when examining buildings—do NOT use candles.
If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department.
Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
Keep all of your animals under your direct control.
Clean up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Please click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief to help people affected by disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Every single donation brings hope to those in need. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: Adelson Family Foundation; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Brown & Brown, Inc.; Caterpillar Foundation; The Clorox Company; ConocoPhillips; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Grainger; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; New Balance Foundation and New Balance Athletics; PepsiCo Foundation; State Farm; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Walt Disney Company.
ADGP $500,000 members are: 21st Century Fox; Altria Group; AmazonSmile; American Express; Aon; Capital One; CBS Corporation; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; General Motors Foundation; Humble Bundle; International Paper; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; LabCorp; Medtronic Foundation; Meijer; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; Procter & Gamble CBS Corporation; Company; PwC; Ryder; Southwest Airlines; Target; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; UPS; The USAA Foundation; The Wawa Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; AdvoCare International L.P.; Alliance Data; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; AXA; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; BMW of North America; Boise Paper; CarMax; Cox Automotive; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; Farmers Insurance; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; HSBC Bank; IBM Corporation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; The J.M. Smucker Company; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Prudential Foundation; Raytheon Company; SC Johnson; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Standard Textile; Stearns Bank; Toyota; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.