Fast Facts: Spring Storms Response

June 15, 2011

The statistics below reflect total American Red Cross service deliveries since the beginning of major spring storm response on March 31st. This includes:

Tornadoes in Kentucky, Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, Missouri, Massachusetts.

Flooding in Tennessee, Vermont, New York, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa.

Wildfires in Texas

To date, the Red Cross has:

Photos: Flooding in South Dakota, Montana

June 14, 2011

South Dakota Flooding 2011

South Dakota Flooding 2011 South Dakota Flooding 2011 South Dakota Flooding 2011

Flooding in Montana

See entire “2011 Spring Floods” set on Flickr >>

Photos: Mississippi Flooding

June 13, 2011

Mississippi Flooding 2011

Mississippi Flooding 2011 Mississippi Flooding 2011 Mississippi Flooding 2011Mississippi Flooding 2011

See entire “2011 Spring Floods” set on Flickr >>

Story: Holding onto optimism three weeks after the tornado

June 10, 2011

This story was written by Bill Fitler, Red Cross worker in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Floods 2011
Cots placed in a circle help families create private spaces in the Red Cross shelter sleeping area at North Commons Recreation Center in Minneapolis. Photo credit: Amanda Mark/American Red Cross

“I’ll never forget that day,” says Dennis Parker Sr. while sitting down for breakfast at the Red Cross shelter at North Commons Recreations Center nearly 3 weeks after the tornado ripped through north Minneapolis.

“It started raining, it got real windy. I didn’t hear the siren until it was all over,” recalls Parker. “When the tornado came, it sounded like a bunch of trains. Bang! Bang! Bang! The tornado ripped the trees right out of the ground. It laid down five of them on our house, and we had a tree limb in our attic. Our basement flooded. It didn’t touch the neighbors on either side of us.”

Parker’s speech is animated as he describes how he, his wife, and four children sought refuge in their house during the storm, but his voice loses some intensity as he shares details about his family’s experiences looking for a new place to call home.

“My wife is in the computer room looking for other places for us to live. We’ll go visit anything she finds, and then we may go to the library. Yesterday we checked out a couple of apartments, but landlords don’t want to rent to us because we’re low income.”

For Parker, shelter life is something he has come to accept. The shelter’s sleeping area is in the North Commons gym. While not very private, each family has tucked their cots closely together, leaving any extra space they can manage between the different family groups. Families with small children have arranged a little play area in the middle of the cots for them.

“The Red Cross has been doing the best they can,” says Parker. “These people we call family, we’re all in the sandbox together. I kind of like being here. We really haven’t had any problems.”

During a graduation party held in the park behind North Commons a few days ago, and how the party organizers donated the rest of their food to those living in the shelter. He helped by cooking at the center’s outdoor grill.

That night, Parker met with a local group that’s helping people find new places to live after the storm. Parker says he’s holding onto optimism for him and his family.

“They were very uplifting, very reassuring,” he says. “They say ‘soon.’ Maybe we’ll find out today.”

Disaster Alert: Flooding in Texas and Illinois

June 10, 2011

Disaster Alert

Texas – A breach of the Franklin Canal in El Paso County caused flooding that threatened dozens of homes and prompted the evacuation of residents within the affected area on Thursday.

Disaster Action Team members from the El Paso Area Chapter provided canteen services to affected-area residents and emergency responders.

Illinois – Flooding in Cook County affected neighborhoods and caused scores of local residents to evacuate on Thursday.

The ARC of Greater Chicago Chapter deployed a Disaster Action Team, opened a shelter and provided assistance to evacuees as needed.

Press Release: Red Cross Continues to Serve Flood-Affected Montana; Gears Up for Bulk Distribution of Clean-up Supplies

June 10, 2011

Red Cross Continues to Serve Flood-Affected Montana; Gears Up for Bulk Distribution of Clean-up Supplies

Bozeman, MONTANA – The Montana Red Cross continues to shelter 33 displaced evacuees at the Crow Agency shelter. Another Red Cross shelter opened Tuesday at the First Lutheran Church of Wolf Point at Fort Peck.

One Red Cross shelter is currently on standby in Helena at the Helena First Assembly of God located at 2201 Dodge Avenue with no shelter population. Shelters at the Rocky Boy Stone Child College on Box Elder Road, and in Roundup at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are currently being operated independently of the Montana Red Cross, but may be supported with cots, blankets, and food, if the need arises.

Feeding kitchens remain open to serve the eastern Montana area, one at the Emmanuel Baptist Church at 328 South Shiloh Road that supplies food for service at the Crow Agency shelter. Additionally, feeding support is occurring at the Ft. Belknap from kitchens in Hays and Lodge Pole.


Press Release: American Red Cross Begins Clean-Up Service Delivery for Flooded Families

June 9, 2011

American Red Cross Begins Clean-Up Service Delivery for Flooded Families

JACKSON, June 9, 2011 – The American Red Cross will be assisting Mississippi families affected by the river flooding this weekend. The humanitarian organization will distribute clean-up items from Wilkinson County to Bolivar County Saturday and Sunday. Items include water, snacks, juice, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, insect repellant, chapstick, bleach, rubber totes, shovels, rakes, dust masks, trash bags and paper towels.

Supplies will be available beginning at 10 a.m. until they last. Locations are as follows:

Saturday, June 11:
Sportsman’s Stop on Highway 24 in Wilkinson County
Vicksburg Fire Training Center at 100 Old Mill Rd. behind the Kings Fire Station
Washington County’s “Support City” at Lake Ferguson

Sunday, June 12:
Port Gibson Fire Station at 412 Market St.
Bolivar County Courthouse in Rosedale

American Red Cross caseworkers will begin canvassing flood-affected neighborhoods in Wilkinson, Claiborne, Warren, Washington, Bolivar and Coahoma Counties the week of June 13. Mobile and fixed feeding will be available as areas open up to residents. The Red Cross is working with the county emergency managers to determine the dates and times for feeding.

Press Release: American Red Cross Responding as Needs Increase in Montana

June 8, 2011

American Red Cross Responding as Needs Increase in Montana

BOZEMAN, MT., June 8, 2011 – With evacuations and flooding throughout the state and more severe weather on the way the Red Cross is supporting shelters opened in various communities with feeding, material resources and staffing. The situation is changing rapidly and the Red Cross urges people to pay attention to watches, warnings and evacuation orders.

In Helena a Red Cross team has a shelter on standby. The Red Cross opened a shelter in Wolf Point, Fort Peck, last night for any evacuated from their homes. The Northern Cheyenne have requested Red Cross support in Lame Deer. The Tribe will be opening their own shelter and the Red Cross is will provide additional resources and support as needed. The community of Fort Belknap is doing the same thing and Red Cross is supporting that community with food.

The Red Cross is in consultation with state, county and tribal authorities and is prepared to support evacuations in any part of the state.

To date the Red Cross has opened seven shelters in Montana, with only one currently active at Crow Agency, with a population of 38 displaced people in that shelter. There are over 100 visiting Red Cross workers and 200 local volunteer in the state to support emergency operations. The Red Cross has served more than 16,700 meals to flood victims in Montana and delivered more than 4,000 bulk items, including personal hygiene kits and clean up kits. Red Cross Health Services volunteers have made more than 650 contacts with flood victims and are working closely with County Public Health.

For more information about the Red Cross relief efforts in Montana or to become a Red Cross volunteer you may call 1-800-ARC-MONT (272-6668) or visit their website at For additional guidance on flood safety please visit:

Disaster Alert: Flooding in Missouri

June 8, 2011

Disaster Alert

Missouri – Residents prepare as high waters from the swelling Missouri River threatens flood protections in parts of the state.

The Midland Empire Chapter placed five shelters on standby and fed responders. The Midland Empire and Greater Kansas City Chapters are in comunication with Emergency Managers from the various counties.

Photos: Flooding in Montana

June 7, 2011

Flooding in Montana

Flooding in Montana Flooding in Montana Flooding in Montana

See entire “2011 Montana Flooding” set on Flickr >>


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