Severe thunderstorms and flash flooding are expected in the Midwest and parts of the Plains over the weekend. The American Red Cross is already on the ground across the Midwest after 27 tornadoes and numerous severe storms ripped through the middle of the country earlier this week. The severe weather destroyed numerous homes, caused several fatalities and numerous injuries.
In Wisconsin, a tornado severely damaged a mobile home park in Barron County and the Red Cross opened a reception center and shelter to help those affected. A tornado also damaged as many as 40 homes in part of Elk City, Oklahoma and the Red Cross is working with local and state officials to determine what help is needed. In Kansas, a tornado hit several parts of Barton County, damaging homes in that area. The Red Cross opened a shelter and is on the scene in Kansas.
SEVERE WEATHER PREDICTED The National Weather Service predicts an enhanced risk of more severe weather in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas and parts of Texas. The storms could bring more tornadoes, damaging wind and very large hail. Heavy rain has been reported in Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
Use these links for full safety information if you are in the path of these storms:
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP
EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, severe weather and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
- Know your community’s warning system.
- Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way – the basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
- Be aware that no area of a mobile home is safe during tornadoes or other severe winds. If you have access to a sturdy shelter or a vehicle, abandon your mobile home immediately and go to either, using your seat belt if driving.
- In a high-rise building, if there isn’t enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
- Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
- Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
- If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
- As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
- If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
- If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
- If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single donation brings hope to those in need. Make a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift. Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.