Sunday, July 17, 2011

Because of you

Tornadoes can come and go with little warning, causing a family to lose their home in an instant.  Families often have time to prepare for floods, but when the flood waters finally come in, they come in fast. In these darkest of times, individuals and families turned to the American Red Cross and its generous donors like you for shelter, food, emotional support, and emergency assistance. Missouri residents whose lives were turned upside down by the tornado were given vital necessities such as hot meals and snacks, hygiene kits, and health and mental health support. More than 390.000 meals and snacks were served at shelters and throughout the communities by Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles that were circulating through affected communities. American Red Cross President and CEO visited Joplin in the early days of the response. Moved by what she saw, she explained,

“The devastation that I have seen is truly indescribable. Everywhere you look, buildings are toppled, homes are destroyed, things are in shards, and the community is working so hard to recover and bounce back. It’s heartbreaking, and I’m very very proud of what the American Red Cross is doing to help the people of Joplin. We have a shelter stood up where we are feeding and sheltering people who have lost everything. We have Emergency Response Vehicles that are driving through communities, delivering food, meals, snacks, clean-up kits, comfort kits. We have mental health counselors here providing psycho-social support for the people of Joplin. It is a massive undertaking.”
Photo courtesy of the International Buisness Times
As the Red Cross met the immediate needs of the people affected, Disaster Assessment (DA) teams were sent out to determine resources and staff that would be necessary for an efficient and effective response. Red Cross DA teams visited thousands of homes to determine the effect on residents and to make sure we help. Caseworkers are following up with these affected residents to help them get their lives back on track.
As of June 27, 2011, the Red Cross has:
• Opened 33 shelters for affected residents
• Provided nearly 8,200 overnight shelter stays
• Served more than 390,000 meals and snacks
• Distributed more than 5,000 hygiene kits and clean-up kits, which includes essential items such as mops, dust masks, and gloves.
• Provided approximately 175,000 bulk items, such as rakes and tarps
• Enlisted the hard work of approximately 1,350 Red Cross workers
• Deployed 36 Emergency Response Vehicles
• Consulted nearly 15,000 affected residents on their health and mental health needs.
With your support, the Red Cross can be there for families and individuals affected by disasters. Thank you for helping us continue this life saving work. Your support is critical to providing a safe, warm and dry place to stay, food, emotional support and many other kinds of assistance- whenever and wherever disaster strikes. 
To learn how you can help, visit us online at
Article and data courtesy of The American Red Cross.

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