Red Cross delivering comfort and help after deadly tornadoes

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Roughly 24 hours after devastating tornadoes ripped through four states, the American Red Cross is beginning its work to support large relief efforts to help those most affected, as well as supplying blood products to area hospitals in need.

“Right now, the need is great,” said Steve Cunanan, regional executive of the Kentucky Red Cross. “I’ve seen firsthand that there has been so much devastation. People lost loved ones, their homes, everything is just gone for them. We’re moving as quickly as we can to get much needed disaster relief and blood products to area hospitals in these communities that are unrecognizable now.”

RED CROSS RESPONSE With more volunteers and supplies moving into the affected areas in the coming days, the Red Cross is working around the clock with partners to make sure everyone has a safe place to stay, emotional support and comfort in the face of one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in years. Saturday night, there were at least eight emergency shelters open in Kentucky, where about 190 people sought safe refuge. Shelters are also open in Tennessee.

Red Cross volunteers are also helping to assess the damage in affected communities as areas become accessible to help determine how many families were affected and what types of help they may need in the coming days and weeks. 

BLOOD SENT TO HOSPITALS In response to hospital requests, the Red Cross has provided approximately 200 additional blood products for patients in the impacted areas and stands ready to provide more blood products as needed. 

Prior to the tornado outbreak, the nation was already facing historically low blood supply challenges and more donors are needed to ensure a readily available blood supply. Red Cross blood drives in affected communities may be canceled or experience lower donor turnout in the coming days, further straining blood inventory levels.

Those in areas unaffected by this tornado outbreak are urged to make an appointment today to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to help ensure blood products are available for patients wherever the need arises.

Through its national inventory, the Red Cross can distribute blood whenever and wherever it is needed. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.

YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. To make a financial donation or schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. You can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor app or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift today. Every single contribution matters. Your donation is a commitment to helping people in need and enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.  

For those interested in helping people specifically affected by the recent tornadoes, we ask that they write “Southern and Midwest Tornadoes” in the memo line of a check and mail it with a completed donation form to the address on the form or their local Red Cross chapter.  

HOW TO FIND A SHELTER The Red Cross helps anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters. Anyone in the affected areas that needs a safe place to stay should visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency app here for shelter locations. You can also find the Emergency app by searching “American Red Cross” in your app store. 

COVID-19 has not changed the Red Cross mission. We are providing the same type of support we always have, and ensuring people have a safe place to stay during disasters is a critical part of that support. To help keep everyone safe, we’re using safety precautions including masks, health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing regardless of vaccine status.  

CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program 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. 

ADGP $1 Million members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe’s Companies, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo. 

ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Best Buy; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital One; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Corporation; General Motors; HCA Healthcare; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; LHC Group; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mastercard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PayPal; PepsiCo Foundation; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Stanley Black & Decker; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and The Wawa Foundation. 

Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; Alliance Data; American Express; Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Dollar General; Duke Energy; Equitable; FirstEnergy Foundation; Grainger; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Humble Bundle; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Mattress Firm; McKesson; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; Procter & Gamble; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Technologies; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; ServiceNow, Inc.; Southwest Airlines; U-Haul International; and U.S. Bank Foundation. 

About the American Red Cross: 
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. 

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SOURCE American Red Cross

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