WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross tornado relief effort in Oklahoma will continue through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Emergency aid stations and shelters will be open and disaster workers will be handing out food and relief supplies to those affected by this week's devastating storms.
"The Red Cross is making sure that people in Oklahoma get the help they need today, Friday and over the holiday weekend," said Trevor Riggen, vice president of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "We will have places where people can come to get food and emergency aid and also will have workers and vehicles going out in the community. The Red Cross also continues to provide health and mental health services to the people who need our help following this tragedy."
Ten emergency aid stations are open where people can come to get food, relief supplies, health and mental health care and information about what other help is available. In addition, meals are available at feeding sites and being distributed throughout the community, along with relief supplies.
Five Red Cross and community shelters are open in Oklahoma following tornadoes over the past week, and more than 370 people spent Wednesday night in those shelters. The Red Cross has also:
- Provided more than 16,000 meals working with its partner, the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Distributed more than 2,800 relief items including personal toiletries and recovery items like coolers, buckets, gloves, dust masks, trash bags, flashlights, tarps, shovels, rakes and blankets.
- Provided dozens of health and mental health contacts. Health services volunteers are working with the Medical Reserve Corps to visit the injured in local hospitals and helping people replace prescriptions and other medical items at emergency aid stations. Mental health workers are providing emotional support in shelters and emergency aid stations.
- Mobilized more than 300 Red Cross workers from all over the country to help the people in Oklahoma.
- Deployed 30 Red Cross emergency response vehicles to distribute food and relief supplies throughout neighborhoods.
- Helped comfort those affected through its spiritual care teams.
The Red Cross tornado response is also continuing in Texas following the May 15 tornado. Wednesday night, more than 40 people stayed in Red Cross and community shelters in Texas. Red Cross volunteers are also providing food, relief supplies, emotional support and comfort as those communities recover.
HOW TO HELP 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 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.
Note to editors: Red Cross Video available at http://youtu.be/zZ12D-q8crE
Red Cross Photos available at http://www.redcross.org/about-us/media/photo-library
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross