Your help is needed – A message from our Regional CEO

May 21, 2013. Moore, Oklahoma. Red Cross volunteer Angela Clemins hugs Moore resident Donna Giedrocz. Giedrocz has spent the day clearing debris from her home and expresses gratitude at the warm meal Clemins has brought her. Photo by Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteer, Angela Clemins, hugs Moore resident, Donna Giedrocz.  Giedrocz has spent the day clearing debris from her home and expresses gratitude at the warm meal Clemins has brought her. Photo by Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

On Monday the severe weather that has been ravaging the United States throughout the spring took a turn for the worse and brought heartbreaking devastation across the Midwest and the South, including Oklahoma, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Iowa. The damage is profound, widespread and the full impact still has yet to be realized.

American Red Cross disaster relief workers are on the ground as I write this, providing urgently needed assistance including food, water, shelter, cleanup supplies and emotional support to those who were affected. Our local volunteers have jumped into action and our helping. Just yesterday, we deployed three volunteers from the Palmetto SC Region to help with Oklahoma tornado relief efforts, and we anticipate that number to continue to increase. And we need your help.

The Red Cross is there for families in need and you can make a difference. We will be opening up additional shelters and delivering thousands of meals and water in the coming hours, days and possibly weeks ahead. But we can’t do any of this without the generosity of individuals like you. You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

I hate to say it, but it isn’t over yet – the National Weather Service warns that the threat of severe weather continues from Texas to the Great Lakes. Be sure that you and your loved ones are prepared and stay safe. View Tornado Safety Tips or download the free Red Cross Tornado App.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families impacted by the incredible damage. If you or a loved one need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for helping families affected by disasters.

Warmest regards,

LouiseWWsignature

Louise Welch Williams
Regional Chief Executive Officer
American Red Cross
Palmetto SC Region

P.S. –  Click here to see more photos from our response in Oklahoma.

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New Tornado App Brings Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices

tornago app

The new American Red Cross Tornado App puts help right into the hands of people who live in or visit tornado-prone areas. Best of all, it’s free and available for iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users.

The Red Cross app gives people instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after tornadoes whether it’s in the community where they live or where they love to vacation.

The app, available in English and Spanish, has a number of features including a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning is in effect. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. People who are out of harm’s way can quickly tap the “I’m safe” button to send a message letting loved ones and friends know they are okay.

People across the country can now receive location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood alerts on their mobile devices and share them on their social networks. Users can share vital information via Facebook, Twitter, text and email. Even if someone doesn’t live in a tornado-prone area, users can have peace of mind knowing they’ll have instant information about loved ones who live in other parts of the country.

Other features of the app include:
• Simple steps and checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share it with household members;
• Preloaded preparedness content that gives instant access to critical action steps even without mobile connectivity;
• Toolkit with a flashlight, a strobe light and an audible alarm;
• Locations of open Red Cross shelters; and
• Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

Red Cross First Aid, Hurricane, Earthquake and Wild Fire Apps have already been downloaded more than 2 million times. People have not only downloaded the apps, but have used them to track storms, let loved ones know that they are safe, find Red Cross shelter locations and access other recovery resources. Download the apps today. The Tornado App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

While apps can help prepare you for disasters, they are not a substitute for training.  Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.  Visit redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.