More than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or heavily damaged by tornadoes or floods since the end of April. Red Cross workers have been meeting with people across the 10 states that have been affected by the disasters. Workers have been helping individuals with recovery plants, paper work and locating help from other agencies. Currently over 1,700 cases have been opened to support affected families and individuals.
Current recovery efforts include building on the food, shelter, relief supplies and support that the Red Cross provided immediately after the disasters struck. Because of the weather, more than 1,900 trained Red Cross workers and 78 emergency vehicles were sent to give help to the communities most affected. So far, workers have had handed out around 100,000 relief items and 220,000 meals and snacks, in addition to other resources. Some of the workers are from the East Georgia area.
Kathy and Bob Coker of Oconee County are members of the Greene, Morgan, Oconee DAT Team. They recently went to Arkansas to help tornado victims by providing disaster relief items such as comfort kits with personal toiletry items and clean-up kits for flood or storm work. Bob is currently deployed in Pensacola, Fla., another area greatly affected by the spring storms. Kathy continues to provide relief for Pensacola through online casework.
Laura Gutsmann of Barrow County is the co-captain of the Barrow, Walton DAT Team. Since April, Laura has traveled to Kansas to aid tornado relief efforts.
Betty and Skip Matson of Walton County are also members of the Barrow, Walton DAT Team. They devoted their time and efforts to natural disaster relief in Alabama. Betty and Skip are only two of more than 300 Red Cross workers who served on the ground in Alabama providing shelter, meals, supplies and hope.
Although the storms have passed, the job of the Red Cross is never over. As volunteers aid victims of the recent storms in recovery, others are helping to better prepare communities for future disasters. The Red Cross estimates that it will spend over $5.2 million towards relief across 10 states. The organization has received nearly $2 million towards designated donations and pledges as of May 15. Donations may be made to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.