For the Troy Daily News
As severe weather threat continues, people should prepare and use free app alerts
NORTHERN MIAMI VALLEY — The American Red Cross is helping people in Arkansas and several other states affected by this week’s devastating tornadoes.
More than 200 people spent Sunday night in shelters in Arkansas that were opened or supported by Red Cross workers. The Red Cross is also providing health and mental health services and Red Cross emergency vehicles will be distributing food throughout the affected areas.
“Our thoughts and sympathy are with all those impacted by these horrific tornadoes,” said R. Scott Miller, executive director, Northern Miami Valley Chapter. “Red Cross disaster teams are helping now and will continue to help for many weeks to come.”
The Red Cross provided several units of type O negative blood to two hospitals in Arkansas before the storm and supplied 40 units of plasma this morning to help treat those who were injured. The hospitals say they have a sufficient blood supply to handle the situation at this point. The Red Cross stands ready to assist with any additional blood needs. Anyone interested in donating blood should call (800) RED CROSS or your local blood bank to schedule an appointment in the weeks ahead.
The Red Cross also has shelters open in Oklahoma and is responding in northern Louisiana where flooding occurred after yesterday’s storms. Shelter and services also are being provided in North Carolina, which was hit Friday night by tornadoes.
The chance of severe storms has moved eastward and impacted people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Red Cross chapters in those areas are prepared to respond by readying shelters, supplies and volunteers.
People should download the Red Cross tornado app onto their mobile devices. They can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know they are okay and find the location of Red Cross shelters. The app also includes a high-pitched siren and warning alert that signals when a tornado warning has been issued, as well as also an all-clear alert that lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. The Red Cross sent out 2.1 million severe weather notifications over the weekend through its tornado app for tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings.
If someone needs to find a shelter, they can contact their local Red Cross chapter or access the Red Cross shelter map which is updated every 30 minutes with shelter locations by address, city, state and/or zip code.
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 www.redcross.org, calling (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.