Red Cross Responds From Midwest To Southeast After Floods And Tornadoes

By: Red Cross Capital Area Chapter Email
By: Red Cross Capital Area Chapter Email

News Release: Red Cross Capital Area Chapter

Tallahassee, Wednesday, April 30, 2014 — The Capital Area Chapter is sending two volunteers with our Emergency Response Vehicle to Pensacola to assist with catastrophic flooding after the devastating weather over the past several days. The volunteers are set to deploy around 6:00 p.m. EST today.

Local volunteers remain on stand-by should Tallahassee or the surrounding areas experience any devastating weather.

A total of 430 people spent Tuesday night in 29 Red Cross and community shelters in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The Red Cross has already served nearly 9,000 meals and snacks to people affected by this storm.

Areas around Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida received as much as two feet of rain overnight. The Red Cross is working with emergency management officials and prepositioned supplies and resources before the storm hit the area.

“The Red Cross continues to expand its relief efforts as this severe weather affects more communities,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president, Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. “Red Cross workers are responding from Arkansas to Florida to make sure people have a safe place to stay and food to eat - and they’ll still be there in the weeks ahead to help people recover from this devastating storm.”

In Florida, the Red Cross has multiple shelters open to help people forced from their homes by the ongoing flooding. Additional volunteers and supplies are ready to support the affected communities as weather conditions permit. The Red Cross is working closely with emergency management officials to coordinate support efforts.

Tornadoes also damaged homes in parts of northwest Louisiana this week and the Red Cross is providing help for those affected, including meals for those impacted by the storm and first responders and others helping with the clean-up. Red Cross workers in Georgia are helping families whose homes were damaged by storms this week and responded to several fires caused by lightning strikes.

After tornadoes destroyed homes in several counties in Tennessee, the Red Cross mobilized dozens of disaster workers, opened a shelter, provided meals and relief supplies and is working to meet the immediate need distributing food and things like blankets, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, water and tarps.

Residents of Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri are also recovering from the tornadoes and Red Cross workers are providing shelter, meals, relief supplies, health and mental health services. The Red Cross is also helping open a Multi-Agency Resource Center in Oklahoma and Kansas where people can come to get help available from different agencies.

The Red Cross tornado app has sent more than 5.5 million storm alerts since Sunday to several hundred thousand people each day when severe weather threatened. The app can be downloaded directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores by searching for American Red Cross.

FLOODING SAFETY The storm is still a threat to many. Heavy rain and flooding are possible from the southeast all along the East Coast to New England, and people should be prepared to evacuate if ordered. Other flooding safety steps are:

  • Pack a disaster kit including a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food for each person in the household and items such as a flashlight and batteries, a first aid kit, medications, sanitation and personal hygiene items, cell phones and chargers, extra cash and copies of important papers.

  • Download the Red Cross flood app for mobile devices. One-touch “I’m safe” messaging allows users to let family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way. The app gives simple instructions on what to do even if cell towers and television reception are down and lets people locate open shelters. Users can also receive NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings.

  • If a flood or flash flood warning is issued, people in that area should head for higher ground and stay there.

  • Stay away from floodwaters whether walking or driving.

  • Keep children out of the water.

  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

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