The American Red Cross is helping people in several states after severe weather moved across the eastern half of the country.
The worst of a powerful storm system spanning hundreds of miles and affecting more than a dozen states since Tuesday morning has passed. Since the first tornado touched down, this storm that spawned in Texas, has affected hundreds of residences. Towns in several regions are already faced with an extensive cleanup. In addition, a rash of damaging thunderstorm winds spread into the Northeast as far north as New England on Wednesday night, knocking down numerous trees and triggering multiple power outages.
All in all, over 300 reports of severe weather, primarily high wind gusts or wind damage from thunderstorms, were received by the Storm Prediction Center Wednesday into early Thursday. More than 200 Red Crossers are responding to those in need as a result of the powerful storms. Sadly, as of Thursday morning there are at least seven (7) confirmed fatalities associated with these storms. Red Cross workers are out in several states, helping to assess the damage and determine what help people need. Red Cross workers are also providing relief supplies and feeding people impacted by the storms as well as first responders on the scene. Trained Red Cross workers will also be meeting one-on-one with people who need additional support to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help.
More severe weather is possible. The Red Cross is monitoring the situation and coordinating closely with state and local officials to ensure more help is available if needed. Information on how people can stay safe before, during and after a tornado is available on redcross.org.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY With the threat of more potential severe weather, people should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes 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.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.