Red Cross provides critical assistance across multiple states after tornadoes, flooding force thousands from their homes

Red Cross provides critical assistance across multiple states after tornadoes, flooding force thousands from their homes

WASHINGTON, DC - This is a news release from American Red Cross

The American Red Cross launched a massive relief response across multiple states in the wake of deadly storms which have been hammering communities across most of the country since before the Christmas holiday.

Almost 1,300 people spent Sunday night in Red Cross and community shelters in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma after tornadoes, flooding and winter storms left behind damaged homes, downed power lines and closed highways. The Red Cross is also supporting families in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi due to severe weather and flooding.

"We have been out helping people affected by these massive storms since before Christmas and will continue to support them as long as we are needed," said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "We depend on generous financial donations to provide comfort and hope to people in need. This is especially true right now when so many have lost everything and holiday celebrations for so many families have been tragically interrupted."

RED CROSS RESPONSE More than 1,100 homes have been damaged by storms across the affected areas and the number could increase. Hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster workers left their loved ones and homes over the holiday and opened shelters for those affected, providing meals, distributing comfort kits and clean-up supplies and meeting with those affected to help them plan their next steps.

DANGER NOT OVER Today flash flooding is expected along the Mississippi, western Gulf Coast and across the southeast as some regions receive as much as 11 inches of rain. Heavy snow in New Mexico could leave snow drifts as high as 10 feet. As the storm moves to the north and east, residents may see heavy ice and freezing rain today and Tuesday.

"The danger continues as the storm moves eastward and we urge people in the path of severe storms to get ready now," Kieserman said. Information about what people should do to prepare their household for possible flooding, tornadoes, winter storms and other weather emergencies is available at

PLEASE HELP NOW The Red Cross will be helping people affected by this storm for weeks and months to come, at the same time responding to other emergencies, including helping people whose homes are destroyed by fires. The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States – and the vast majority of these are home fires.

People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The generous donations from Annual Disaster Giving Program members (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program members enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.