Ongoing Red Cross Efforts in Wake of Tornadoes and Severe Weather

MIAMI FL. January 26, 2017 – People in several southern states continue to deal with the devastation from severe storms and at least 60 tornadoes over 48 hours last weekend. The American Red Cross is with them, including a team of volunteers from South Florida, providing food, shelter and help with recovery. Red Cross workers will support those affected for as long as help is needed.

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Sharon Rogers and her husband were at home when the storm hit. “The storm took our window out and I thought it was over. Then I heard the trees cracking and that’s when I screamed as the tree came through our home,” says Sharon. Sharon frantically grabbed photos of her grandparents as the tree crashed into her bedroom and the guest room as she moved to the living room to wait out the storm. Sharon and her husband had to crawl through the rubble of what used to be their carport to escape their home. The Red Cross delivered meals in an Emergency Response Vehicle through Sharon’s neighborhood so the family would have something to eat. “They have been good,” Sharon says.

As of January 24, reports indicate more than 1,100 homes have been affected across Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. We anticipate this number could increase once all inaccessible areas are accessed. Over 130 people in Georgia and Mississippi are still seeking refuge in 7 Red Cross and community shelters. In Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, Red Cross and community partners have served over 30,000 meals and snacks, distributed over 8,000 relief items, and provided 900 Health Services and Disaster Mental Health contacts. The American Red Cross has mobilized over 500 workers to help those in need.

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In South Florida, Red Cross volunteers are providing recovery assistance and emotional support to 17 families, composed of 53 people – including 15 children impacted by severe weather that swept through the cities of Doral, Hialeah and Miami Springs early Monday morning.

“We are so grateful for the selfless dedication of our volunteers, our precious donors and incredible community partners. It is thanks to their support that the American Red Cross can bring help when needed most,” said Tina Labellarte, Interim Regional Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross South Florida Region. “We are out helping people across the affected communities and will continue to support them as long as we are needed.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP

MAKE A DONATION The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Southern Tornadoes and Storms by visiting redcross.org, calling  1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting 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 this disaster.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP More than 2.5 million weather alerts were sent from the Red Cross Emergency and Tornado Apps over the weekend. These alerts help save lives by notifying people so they can gather household members and go to their safe place during severe weather. People can also learn what to do before, during and after severe weather events by downloading Red Cross apps in their app store or at redcross.org/apps.

About the American Red Cross:

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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @SFLRedCross.

 

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