Disaster workers, meals, equipment and blood headed to area hardest hit.
The American Red Cross is helping thousands of people after Wednesday’s deadly tornadoes destroyed neighborhoods throughout the southern region of the country.
“The American Red Cross is making sure people have a safe place to stay and food to eat. We will be there as long as needed as families struggle to get through this terrible tragedy.” said Ellen Knapp, Regional CEO, Central Valley Region. “The Red Cross is working in communities across a large part of the country helping people affected by these storms.”
Hardest hit was Alabama, where Governor Robert Bentley has activated National Guard troops to help in the devastated areas. The Red Cross is sending disaster workers, materials, and equipment into the state. Nearly 40 emergency response vehicles are on the way, along with 25,000 ready-to-eat meals. Red Cross Blood Services is moving hundreds of blood products into the area and Red Cross nurses and mental health works are being deployed to help people cope with the aftermath of this disaster.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who lost loved ones or have suffered through these deadly storms,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “Red Cross disaster teams are working around the clock to help the thousands of people whose lives are turned upside down, more Red Cross assistance is on the way.” “Our top priority right now is to provide food and shelter to the thousands of people throughout the South and Midwest affected by these storms,” Shimanski said, adding that the Red Cross is also distributing relief supplies and providing emotional support and basic health services to disaster survivors.
More than 1,600 people sought refuge in 65 Red Cross shelters Wednesday night as the storms forced them from their homes. Red Cross shelters are open in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina and Texas.
More than half of the country has been affected by this continuous band of damaging weather, disrupting people’s lives from North Dakota to the East Coast. In the last several weeks, Red Cross disaster workers have provided thousands of overnight stays in shelters, distributed thousands of clean-up and comfort kits and served hundreds of thousands of meals and snacks.
Those who want to help the people affected by these disasters, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Their gift will enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other disaster assistance. To make a donation, people can visit www.redcross.org, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to American Red Cross Central Valley Region , 2002 N Fine Ave, Fresno CA 93727 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.