Hundreds of American Red Cross disaster workers are helping people across the Midwest affected by the tornadoes and flooding which has devastated communities over these past few weeks. Many of these workers are volunteers from across the country who left the comfort of their own homes to lend a much-needed hand to those most in need.
In Missouri, the Brown family – James, Sherri and daughter Devyn – are Red Cross disaster volunteers who all responded to the flooding in their home state. "I love my parents and my family and I love to do everything with them," Devyn Brown said. "When we have to do something there's not a no," her father added. The family has been manning a Red Cross emergency vehicle this week, distributing food and relief supplies to residents around Pacific, Mo.
More than 600 disaster workers – most of them volunteers - are also helping people in Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. In Texas, volunteer Joel Moore is in charge of the relief supply warehouse, sending out supplies to neighborhoods where people need them. Among those assisting him are volunteers Melanie Morgan and Yahaira Lescana, originally from San Diego.
Red Cross volunteers have shelters open and are providing meals, distributing comfort kits and clean-up supplies, providing health and mental health services and meeting with those affected to help them plan their next steps.
PLEASE GIVE NOW The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters such as the ongoing flooding, recent tornadoes and winter storms. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
FLOODING STILL A THREAT As the high river water moves south, the Red Cross is working with officials in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky where flood watches and warnings have been issued along some rivers. Anyone living in an area where flooding is possible should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information and shelter locations with them. The Emergency App features emergency weather alerts to help keep the user safe, and provides information about what to do in case of floods and the locations of open shelters. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
People living in communities threatened by severe weather should keep informed about weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials. If their neighborhood is prone to flooding, they should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Other flood safety steps include:Head for higher ground and stay there.Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.Keep children out of the water.Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.