by: Michelle Fulleda
Mother Nature and the Red Cross were very busy last week as severe weather struck all across the country. There were tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa, a blizzard in South Dakota, flooding in Kentucky, wildfires in California and a tropical storm in the Gulf Coast. The Red Cross responded to provide comfort and hope to people affected by the severe weather.
Nebraska and Iowa
A line of storms produced tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa last Friday, destroying homes and businesses, and caused highway closures and power outages. Red Cross workers opened shelters and provided food, first aid and emotional support for those affected. Today, The Siouxland Area Chapter has sent mass care supplies to the damaged area and has staff at the Emergency Operations Center in Woodbury. The chapter has identified a shelter location in case a shelter is needed.
An early winter storm brought several inches of snow and ice causing power outages and road closures in Belle Fourche, Deadwood and Rapid City. The Red Cross opened a shelter and had food available for people affected by the snow and will have emergency response vehicles distributing food and relief supplies as roads re-open.
Heavy rain caused flooding in parts of Kentucky over the weekend. The Red Cross opened shelters and provided food to those affected as well as emergency personnel conducting water rescues. Red Cross workers will be traveling throughout the affected areas today assessing damages and helping ensure people get needed assistance.
Red Cross workers opened an evacuation center and deployed emergency response vehicles after a wildfire broke out in Orange County, California, forcing people from their homes. The fire is contained and evacuations have been lifted.
Tropical Storm Karen threatened communities along the Gulf Coast and Red Cross workers in Louisiana opened shelters for people in the path of the storm. The Red Cross prepared to respond across five states, mobilizing trained workers, supplies and equipment to help if needed.
BE PREPARED Severe weather can threaten anywhere, often without little warning. The Red Cross urges everyone to prepare now to make sure their household is ready for disasters and other emergencies. Information about how to make an emergency plan, build a disaster kit and learn about what emergencies can occur in someone’s neighborhood is available on this web site.