American Red Cross assisting those affected by severe storms

(WTVM) - The American Red Cross is responding to areas in the South and Midwest that were affected by the massive storm system that left over 30 people dead.

Red Cross workers opened or supported community shelters in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Virginia. If you or someone you know needs help finding shelter, contact your local Red Cross chapter or access the Red Cross shelter map on, which is updated every 30 minutes.

Emergency vehicles are distributing food and supplies throughout the affected areas, as well as providing health and mental health services in those areas. Additional disaster workers and emergency vehicles will move into those affected areas to help when it is safe to do so.


People should know how their community will warn them about the storm. Other steps include the following:

*Pick a place where family members can gather - the basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

*Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

*Watch for tornado danger signs – dark, greenish clouds, a cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or roaring noise.

*Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or severe winds. If there is access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, abandon the mobile home immediately and go to that facility. Do not wait until the tornado is in view.

* If someone is caught outdoors, they should seek shelter in a basement or sturdy building. If they can't do that, they should get into a vehicle, buckle their seat belt and drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If flying debris occurs, they should pull over and park, stay in the vehicle with their head down below the windows, covering their head.


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. 

If you would like to help the storm victims, you can also donate to the Crawford Community Catastrophe Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank.

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