The American Red Cross is deeply saddened by the loss of life and incredible devastation brought to Mississippi and Alabama by the horrific tornados that touched down late Friday. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this disaster.
The Red Cross of Illinois has deployed several volunteers to Mississippi and Alabama, who will be working with our partners to make sure everyone has a safe place to stay, meals, emotional support and comfort in the face of this deadly tornado. We have mobilized relief supplies and disaster workers and are coordinating with local and state officials to help ensure people get the help they need.
You can make a difference in the lives of people affected by tornadoes and storms in the South. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS or text the word TORNADO to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance.
Please take note of these safety tips to help protect you and your family, in the event of a tornado.
• Watch for tornado danger signs: dark and greenish clouds, a wall cloud or cloud of debris.
• During a tornado warning, go to your safe place immediately, whether it’s a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. A small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
• If you live in a mobile home, find a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. No mobile home is safe in a tornado. If you have access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, go there immediately.
• If you’re outside, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get in a vehicle and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Remember to buckle your seat belt.
• Stay away from bridges or highway overpasses.
• If strong winds and flying debris occur while driving, pull over and park. Keep on your seat belt and the engine running. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with your hands and a blanket.
Home Fire Response
Red Cross volunteers in the South Central Illinois chapter responded to six home fires in Brocton, Herrin, Springfield, Thompsonville and Woodson in the past week and provided assistance to 23 individuals, through supplying them with basic items to meet immediate needs after a fire, and additional support in the form of health and mental health services and one-on-one support.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: (877) 597-0747.
Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it. Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older; the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Check the date of your smoke alarms and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Visit redcross.org/fire for information on setting up your home fire escape drill and to learn more about home fire safety. Download our free Emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in app stores or visiting redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RedCrossIL.