COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)
After devastating tornadoes ravaged six states, including Missouri, the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas coordinated with local and national emergency management to send teams to help communities affected by the tornadoes devastating.
Responders have been dispatched to the Greater St. Louis area, including St. Charles County, where homes were destroyed in Defiance, Missouri. Responders also provided assistance in Wright and Stone counties and southern Missouri in Bootheel and Branson areas.
Sharon Watson, director of communications for the American Red Cross in Missouri and Arkansas, said responders were dispatched to affected areas on Saturday morning to assess the damage and destroyed homes.
“We meet with families, take note of addresses that have been affected and we also work closely with local emergency management,” Watson said.
Watson said the primary goal of the Red Cross is to provide affected families with the immediate help and resources they need.
Red Cross teams continue to intervene with families and homes that have been affected or destroyed by storms, and to provide immediate assistance such as housing, food and clothing, financial assistance, medical care. spiritual and mental health; and work to assist local emergency response agencies with rescue and recovery efforts.
“This includes financial assistance to make sure they have a place to stay such as a hotel as well as food and clothing and the replacement of some of these essentials,” Watson said.
Watson said that after the damage assessment is completed, the Red Cross is providing clean-up equipment and emergency supplies such as gloves and tarpaulins to people and families in need.
The Red Cross will continue to offer support and work with those affected over the coming weeks and help people connect with the resources they need, whether through the Cross. -Rouge or other agencies.
Watson, who visited Defiance Missouri on Sunday, said the damage is tragic.
“When you get to the city you notice that there are trees that are broken and unfortunately when you enter the city there are some houses that are completely razed and others that have completely disappeared.” Watson said.
She said she saw many neighbors and volunteers working together to clean up storm damage and debris at Defiance.
Watson said the best way for people to help is to donate money to help the Red Cross respond to disasters. To donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or to donate online, visit www.redcross.org.
To volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer.
Watson said there is an increased need for donated blood when tornadoes strike. There is an urgent blood shortage, Watson said, said blood donations are desperately needed.
To donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org.
Watch ABC 17 News at 10 p.m.