The American Red Cross is helping people in six states affected by record severe storms, flooding and tornadoes in southern Plains and Mississippi Valley regions over the weekend. More than 280 people sought refuge from the storms last night in more than 20 shelters.
Fourteen Red Cross volunteers from South Carolina are deploying to Missouri to assist with the ongoing disaster relief operation. The local Red Cross disaster services volunteers bring a variety of specialized disaster response skills to the team that is coming together from across the country. The volunteers, from the Central, Upstate and Eastern SC Chapters will be providing families a safe, dry place to stay by operating shelters and providing health services, as well as working behind the scenes in logistics, assisting with the movement of resources and supplies to support the ongoing operation.
“Our volunteers are dedicated to helping families when they need it most, whether here in their local community or across the country,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer for the Red Cross in South Carolina. “When they heard that help was needed in Missouri, they immediately volunteered to assist the people displaced by the flooding.”
NATIONWIDE RESPONSE In Missouri, some communities were forced to evacuate due to rising rivers, and more evacuations could occur today. Red Cross disaster workers have opened numerous shelters where more than 130 people spent Sunday night. Flooding also hit central and southern Illinois, so the Red Cross is also helping in that area.
The Red Cross also has shelters open in Arkansas, where the governor declared a state of emergency after residents in Sharp and Fulton counties were forced to leave their homes due to river flooding. In Oklahoma, Red Cross disaster workers opened shelters after the governor declared a state of emergency due to severe storms, flooding and snow affecting a large part of the state.
Tornadoes ripped apart parts of Texas, where as many as 5,000 buildings may be affected. And in Kansas, a major snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow. The Red Cross has shelters open in both states.
DOWNLOAD 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, flooding 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.
VOLUNTEERING The time and talent of every volunteer makes a real difference in people’s lives. Those interested in volunteering should visit www.redcross.org/sc today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like floods, wildfires 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. 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.