WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 28, 2019 — The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states in the Midwest where tornadoes and flooding continue their relentless assault on the region. More than 450 people spent Monday night in 25 Red Cross and community shelters in the area.
The Red Cross has deployed more than 650 trained disaster workers to assist people impacted by these storms. In the Dayton, Ohio area where a powerful tornado touched down Monday night, the Red Cross has opened several shelters where people impacted by the devastating storm can find food and shelter.
In Oklahoma, the entire state is under a state of emergency. The Arkansas River is above flood stage and voluntary evacuations have been ordered in the Tulsa area. The Red Cross has nine shelters open where more than 125 people spent Monday night.
The Red Cross also has shelters open in Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas due to the flooding in those states.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reports there were as many as 110 tornadoes over the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, including 60 reports of tornadoes on Monday alone in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado, Nebraska and the large twister which touched down in Ohio.
The severe weather threat is not over. The National Weather Service reports severe weather will continue in the Midwest today with another storm system moving through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware that could bring heavy rain, strong winds and hail.
A MAN AND HIS PETS When a powerful tornado blew through Jefferson, Missouri last week, Jerome Ruff was left with the clothes on his back and his dogs, Chewy and Taz. He was worried that his pets would have nowhere to go. But through a partnership with the Humane Society of Missouri, a mobile kennel was set up outside a Red Cross shelter where Ruff’s pets found a clean place to stay. “I wouldn’t stay without my dogs. Whatever befell them would befall me as well,” he said.
Chad Gard, Humane Society staffer, said having the kennel nearby often makes the difference between someone staying in a shelter or striking out on their own, maybe sleeping in their car with their pets. “It helps in the recovery of the people. They are relieved to know that their pets are nearby and will be well cared for,” he said.
Having Chewy and Taz nearby makes all the difference for Ruff as he figures out what to do next. At the shelter, there are Red Cross volunteers to help him and knowing his pets are safe makes it easier for him to focus on his recovery needs. “It really brings tears to my eyes when I think of the help I’m getting here at the shelter, especially providing a place for my dogs,” he said.
IF YOU NEED TO FIND A SHELTER Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcross.org or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. You can also check with your local officials for information on where to find a shelter.
The Emergency App also provides emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of emergencies such as tornadoes and flooding. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
The Red Cross encourages people impacted to list yourself as “safe and well” on the free Safe and Well website. Family and friends may then search for the name of anyone they are trying to locate. The site is always available and available in Spanish.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To donate by check or to a specific cause, please complete this donation form by printing and mailing to your local Red Cross chapter.
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: American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; The Clorox Company; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; State Farm; Verizon; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Walt Disney Company.
ADGP $500,000 members are: 21st Century Fox; Altria Group; AmazonSmile; Aon; BMW of North America; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; General Motors; Grainger; Humble Bundle; IBM Corporation; International Paper; Johnson Controls Foundation; LHC Group; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Nissan; Procter & Gamble Company; PwC Charitable Foundation; Sands Cares; Southwest Airlines; Target; 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; American Express; Assurant; AstraZeneca; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cox Enterprises; DICK’S Sporting Goods; Duke Energy; Edison International; Entergy Corporation; GE Foundation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; The J.M. Smucker Company; John Deere Foundation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Medtronic Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; Prudential Financial; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; SC Johnson; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; The Starbucks Foundation; Tata Consultancy Services; Toyota; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.