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Red Cross Faces Trio of Disasters: Tornadoes, Wildfires and Floods
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Red Cross
 
April 13, 2009

American Red Cross Chapters across the South are busy helping residents whose lives have been affected by a string of tornadoes that have hit the region over the past several days and that caused fatalities, destroyed homes and left thousands without power.

Red Cross chapters in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama have opened shelters, sent out Disaster Action Teams and Emergency Response Vehicles and provided canteen services, mass care, health services and mental health assistance.

The fast-hitting storms first hit Thursday, April 9 in Arkansas where three people lost their lives and dozens were injured.  As the weather system moved across the South, two more people were killed in Tennessee and dozens more injured.  According to news reports, more than ten tornadoes were confirmed over the weekend.

Heavy rain was considered a blessing this weekend in northern Texas and parts of Oklahoma as it helped firefighters contain several large wildfires that have been burning for several days.  The fires, according to media reports, were responsible for several deaths and scorched thousands of acres.  Red Cross Chapters there are providing services for emergency responders, offering shelter, and staffing evacuation and command centers. 

Meanwhile, Red Cross chapters are supporting flood relief efforts both in Florida and North Dakota.  Following heavy rains, the Santa Fe River in northern Florida has caused problems for residents and is expected to continue rising this week. In North Dakota, residents of Fargo are closely watching the Red River, which is predicted to crest above flood level for the second time in just a few weeks as a result of the spring melting of snow.

Help people affected by disasters like these by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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, D.C., 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.


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