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Red Cross Delivers Help After Southern Storms
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Stuart Hales
February 6, 2008

A line of thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the midsection of the United States late Tuesday, killing more than 50 people, injuring scores of others, and destroying dozens of homes and buildings. Red Cross chapters responded immediately during the night, opening shelters and providing comfort to those forced from their homes.

A Caterpillar plant in Oxford, Miss., was nearly destroyed as a line of violent storms raged across the nation’s midsection. (Photo: Dave Darnell / Courtesy of Commercialappeal.com)
A Caterpillar plant in Oxford, Miss., was nearly destroyed as a line of violent storms raged across the nation’s midsection.
(Photo: Dave Darnell / Courtesy of The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.)

A large majority of damage occurred in Gallatin and Jackson, Tenn. which also had the highest concentration of fatalities. The destruction stretched across five states with media reporting four people killed in Alabama, 13 in Arkansas, seven in Kentucky and 28 in Tennessee.

Red Cross shelters are still open in Kentucky and Tennessee where volunteers continue to serve meals and welcomed more than 350 overnight guests last night, immediately following the storms.

The Nashville Area Chapter is operating two shelters while the Jackson Area Chapter continues to work closely with Union University which was badly damaged by the tornadoes. Information about Red Cross shelters is available on a blog dedicated to the tornado relief effort.

In addition to providing food and a safe place to stay, trained Red Cross mental health volunteers are available to lend emotional support to those affected.

If you have been affected by the storms, use the Red Cross Safe and Well website to register yourself as “safe and well.” From a list of standard messages, you can select those that you want to communicate to your family members, letting them know of your well-being.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like these tornadoes, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters at home and abroad, collects and distributes nearly half of the nation's blood supply, teaches lifesaving skills, and supports military members and families. The American Red Cross, a charity and not a government agency, depends on voluntary contributions of time, money and blood to perform its humanitarian mission.

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