Talking Points – Spring Severe Weather Outbreak – May 9, 2011
The Red Cross is gearing up to respond to major flooding along the Mississippi River this week even as thousands of Red Cross workers continue to help people in tornado-ravaged neighborhoods across the South.
- Floodwaters are expected to remain in some areas for as long as two weeks and the Red Cross is preparing to shelter and feed people who live along theMississippifor more than a month.
- The Red Cross has shipped thousands of cots, blankets and comfort kits into the area, and is working with state and local officials as well as community partners to ramp up the sheltering and feeding response along the river inTennessee,Arkansas,MississippiandLouisiana. More than 400 Red Cross volunteers are in theMemphisarea, with more arriving in other parts of the south.
- Mississippi River flooding forced more than 400 people to seek refuge in shelters in northwestTennesseeSunday night. Another 660 people spent the night in Red Cross shelters across the South.
- Red Cross caseworkers, health services volunteers and mental health workers already are at work in some parts of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi to tend to people’s physical and mental health needs.
The Red Cross estimates that it will spend as much as $31 million responding to the disasters which have occurred over the past several weeks, while preparing to launch another large-scale relief operation to help people along the Mississippi River. To date, about $16 million has been raised in donations. Please consider making a donation today to help the thousands of people who have been affected by these disasters.
- Visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.
- Any donation, large or small, will help. For example, $3 can provide a comfort kit for someone in a disaster. $6 can cover the cost of a blanket, $10 the cost of a hot meal. For $150, someone’s donation can cover the cost of providing food and shelter to a family of four for a day they spend in a shelter.
The Red Cross has launched more than 20 separate relief operations over more than half of the United States since March 31 responding to disasters from North Dakota to the East Coast and all throughout the South.
Since the end of March, the Red Cross has:
- Served hundreds of thousands meals and snacks with the help of community partners.
- Opened more than 170 shelters and provided more than 13,000 overnight stays.
- Handed out hundreds of thousands of relief items like hygiene kits, mops, brooms, tarps, shovels, work gloves and coolers.
- Provided nearly 12,000 health and mental health consultations.
Deployed 158 Red Cross emergency response vehicles to help distribute meals and clean-up items
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