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    Red Cross to provide shelter, food for tornado victims

    4:48 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
    Carlos and Kim Caudillo stand in the debris of their home after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 20, 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The American Red Cross is working to help people in Oklahoma after Monday's devastating tornadoes with shelters, food, water and supplies. More workers, supplies and equipment are moving into the area Tuesday.

    "We join in with our fellow Arkansans with our sympathy and shock over the loss of life and destruction that happened yesterday in Moore," said Roger Elliot, American Red Cross in Arkansas State Disaster director. "Specialized Red Cross disaster teams are helping now and will be helping for weeks to come as people in Oklahoma recover from these storms."

    The Red Cross deployed almost 30 emergency response vehicles to distribute food and relief supplies and more are on alert. Two Southern Baptist Convention kitchens and kitchen support trailers will join the relief effort with the ability to serve tens of thousands of meals a day.

    "All seven of Arkansas' trucks are on alert for deployment to Oklahoma," said Elliot. "Until the severe weather clears the state, the teams will remain in state in the event we need them to provide care here."

    Emergency aid stations will open where people can get food and snacks, mental health and health services and information about what help is available. The Red Cross is supporting first responders and working with local and state officials to make sure people get the help they need.

    "If you're looking for someone, register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website by visiting www.redcross.org and clicking on the "List Yourself or Search Registrants" link under "How to Get Help". Those who can't access a computer can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and a Red Cross operator can help them register. 

    If someone has the Red Cross tornado app on their mobile device, they can use the "I'm Safe" button to let loved ones know they are okay. The app can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. It includes a high-pitched siren and tornado warning alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued, as well as also an all-clear alert that lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.

    Content is preloaded so users have access to critical information even without mobile connectivity, including locations of open Red Cross shelters and the one-touch "I'm Safe" messaging to let loved ones know they are okay through social media outlets. More than a million alerts were sent from the Red Cross tornado app with 340 separate tornado warning/watch notices on Sunday and Monday as tornadoes hit in Oklahoma and other states.

    Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

    People with type O negative blood are encouraged to give blood when they are able. All eligible blood donors can schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org to help ensure blood is available when people need it.

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