Dozens of deadly tornadoes touched down the weekend of December 10-12 across multiple states in the center of the country, leaving behind considerable damage and heartbreak.
- There were at least 50 reports of tornadoes during the outbreak from late Friday into Saturday according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center.
- More than 100 tornado warnings were issued Friday before midnight, the most tornado warnings ever for a December day.
- The severe weather continues. About 300 severe wind reports had come in from across the Central Plains and into the Midwest as of last night.
- Rain and colder temperatures will impact the affected areas today into this weekend, making the availability of safe shelter essential for those whose homes were damaged last weekend.
More than 450 American Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country are currently working with our partners in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri, focused on providing shelter, meals, comfort and support in the face of the deadliest tornado outbreak in a decade.
- With such widespread damage and thousands of homes affected, we know families will need support for weeks to come – and the Red Cross will be there for as long as we are needed.
- Where possible, more than a dozen emergency response vehicles are moving through the affected areas.
- Wednesday night more than 550 people sought refuge in 14 Red Cross and community shelters.
- More than 535 people were in 10 Red Cross and community emergency shelters in the hardest-hit communities in Kentucky.
- Red Cross volunteers are also focused on helping to assess the damage in affected communities as areas become accessible.
- This work will help us to better understand how many families were impacted and what types of help they may need in the coming days and weeks.
With thousands of homes affected and damage spanning some 250 miles, this response is a team effort. Massive disasters like these tornadoes leave behind an incredible amount of need and no single organization can do it alone.
- This is a time for communities to come together and support one another.
- The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community — government agencies, community groups and others — to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible.
- Some of the dozens of partners we are working with include World Central Kitchen, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and the NAACP.
COVID-19 has not changed the Red Cross mission. We are providing the same types of support we always have, and ensuring people have a safe place to stay during disasters is a critical part of that support.
The Red Cross helps anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters.