From Hawaii to Georgia, 2021’s spring storms have begun. The American Red Cross is responding across the south after more than 250 reports of severe weather this weekend, including multiple tornadoes, damaging winds and devastating flooding in Tennessee.
In Tennessee, some areas received as much as almost nine inches of rain, leading to deadly flash flooding in the middle of the state around the Nashville area. The Nashville Fire Department's swift water rescue teams had pulled at least 130 people from vehicles and homes as of Sunday morning.
This followed tornadoes late last week which caused destruction across five southeastern states, 14 in Alabama alone.
Earlier this month, Hawaii saw its worst flooding in more than 20 years, which led to evacuations in several neighborhoods.
With our partners, the Red Cross is providing emergency lodging to hundreds of people in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Hawaii in the aftermath of the severe weather. Collectively, almost 690 Red Cross disaster workers have also provided more than 69,300 meals and snacks and distributed more than 5,100 emergency supplies such as clean-up kits, along with nearly 1,500 individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs, or to provide emotional and spiritual support.
HELP CAN’T WAIT, PLEASE DONATE NOW Help people affected by spring tornadoes and floods by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the words STORMS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
SAFETY STEPS YOU SHOULD FOLLOW Residents in affected communities who had to evacuate should return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
After a flood:
- Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home.
- If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water. Report them immediately to the power company.
- If any gas or electrical appliances were flooded, don’t use them until they have been checked for safety.
- Dispose of any food that has come into contact with flood water.
- Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
- Be careful when moving furnishings or debris, because they may be waterlogged and heavier.
- Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected. This includes mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys.
- Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud. When in doubt, throw it out. This includes canned goods, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and containers with food or liquid that has been sealed shut.
- Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped out completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.
After a tornado:
- Stay out of damaged buildings. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes.
- Avoid fallen power lines or broken gas lines - immediately report them to the utility companies.
- If someone smells gas or hears a hissing noise, they should open a window, get everyone out of the building immediately and call the gas company or fire department
- Use flashlights, not candles when examining buildings.
DOWNLOAD OUR APPS
Download the free Red Cross app “Emergency” to help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice on different emergencies. The Red Cross First Aid app provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS 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: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Truist Foundation; UPS; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Capital One; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; Fox Corporation; General Motors; HCA Healthcare; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; LHC Group; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PayPal; PepsiCo Foundation; Progressive Insurance; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Southwest Airlines; Stanley Black & Decker; The Starbucks Foundation; Takeda Pharmaceutical; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; The USAA Foundation, Inc.; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; American Express; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; Consumer Cellular; CSX; Darden Foundation; DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Dominion Energy; Duke Energy; Equitable; FirstEnergy Foundation; Grainger; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Humble Bundle; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Lenovo; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Mastercard; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; Procter & Gamble; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Technologies; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; Trane Technologies; U-Haul International; and U.S. Bank Foundation.