As survivors of Greensburg's devastating tornado continue to assess the damage to their homes, the American Red Cross remains at the scene, supporting individuals and families with safe shelter, nutritious meals and personal care items. Red Cross relief workers are also providing emotional support and lending an ear to residents picking through the rubble to reclaim the tattered pieces of their lives.
A debris field in Greensburg.
Photographer: Marty Robey
Debbie Adolph shared her story with Red Cross workers as she searched the land where her home once stood. Late Friday evening, as Debbie and her family were at home, tornado sirens began to sound in Greensburg. Debbie's two children, 7-year-old Alexis and 9-year-old Alec, joined their mother and her parents at their designated safe place—under the basement stairs. Minutes later, the powerful twister ripped the Adolph's home off its foundation and tore it apart.
Once the storm passed, Debbie and her family crawled out of a broken basement window to find downed power lines, destroyed homes and the smell of gas. After wandering many dark blocks in their neighborhood, the Adolphs finally found other community members seeking refuge. As they reached the center of town, the floodwaters from the storms that spawned the tornado rose to their knees. "It was then that I realized everything was gone," she says.
Debbie has begun the process of recovery, having found an apartment for her children and parents 40 miles from Greensburg. Her older daughter, Brooke, and close family friends have been helping her salvage what they can from her home to take to the new apartment.
As she surveyed the wreckage that was once her home, a tearful Debbie hugged a Red Cross worker. "I was not expecting it—the damage, my home," she said. "The whole town is gone."
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 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.