Press Release: Continuing Efforts as the American Red Cross, Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter Responds to Dexter Tornadoes

March 17, 2012

Continuing Efforts as the American Red Cross, Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter Responds to Dexter Tornadoes

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2012 — The tornado outbreak in Dexter Thursday left a trail of destroyed homes and wreckage in its path. Two days later, residents are beginning the clean-up process and trying to move on. As the recovery efforts begin the Red Cross is responding to the needs of the community by bringing our services to the affected neighborhood.

Red Cross volunteers will be out on the streets offering water, snacks, health services and clean-up kits to the residents as they clean, recover and heal. A shelter will be open to the residents at the Mill Creek Middle School also providing water, snacks, health services and basic needs.

Shelter Information
Mill Creek Middle School
7305 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd
Dexter, Michigan 48130

In Ann Arbor, the shelter at the Salvation Army on Arbana Street on Pauline Boulevard will close at noon today as there is no longer a need for the shelter in that area.

If you would like to let your loved ones know you are OK, or if you are looking for someone who lives in the Dexter area, visit the Red Cross Safe and Well site, www.safeandwell.communityos.org.

  • Register yourself as Safe and Well so your friends and family know you are OK
  • Look for friends and family members who have registered with safe and well

Press Release: American Red Cross, Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter Responds to Dexter Tornadoes

March 17, 2012

American Red Cross, Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter Responds to Dexter Tornadoes

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2012 — The city of Dexter was hit hard Thursday afternoon by an outbreak of tornadoes that left approximately 13 homes destroyed and over 100 dwellings affected.

The Red Cross is responding to the needs of the community. A Red Cross shelter has been set up at Mill Creek Middle School in Dexter for residents and will provide health services, mental health services, food, water and basic needs. At daybreak our Emergency Services Department will conduct a full assessment of the neighborhoods affected and will respond accordingly.

Shelter Information
Mill Creek Middle School
7305 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd
Dexter, Michigan 48130

Due to extensive flooding at the Park Place Apartments in Ann Arbor, the Red Cross, in conjunction with the Salvation Arm, opened a second shelter in Ann Arbor. This shelter will also provide health services, mental health services, food, water and basic needs.

Shelter Information
Salvation Army
100 Arbana Drive
Ann Arbor, MI


Fast Facts: Tornado Relief in Kentucky/Indiana

March 16, 2012

Red Cross nurses are making personal visits to clients in affected areas in Kentucky and Indiana in an effort to help them return to their pre-disaster health status. They assist with replacing lost prescriptions, glasses, and durable medical equipment and reconnecting clients with their normal healthcare providers. Disaster Health Services workers have been accompanying client caseworkers visiting individual families as well as making visits to those who have called the Red Cross call center number with needs.

The following information shows our total service delivery since the beginning of the severe weather in Kentucky and Indiana:


Disaster Alert: Tornado in Michigan

March 16, 2012

Disaster Alert

Michigan – A tornado touched down in Washtenaw County and destroyed homes, affected scores of others, caused power outages and prompted the evacuation of residents within the affected area on Thursday.

The Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter deployed Disaster Action Team members, opened two shelters, provided Mass Care and bulk distribution to affected-area residents.


Story: Generations of Daisy Hill family recover from tornado damage with Red Cross help

March 14, 2012

Indiana Tornado Relief

The Jackson family has lived on Daisy Hill in Borden for generations, building homes within earshot of what was the ancestral home–the key word being “was.” The more than 102-year-old house no longer exists, destroyed by the March 2 tornadoes that swept through Kentucky and Indiana leaving hundreds of people homeless including most of the Jackson’s extended family. With little warning on March 3, dozens of family members and neighbors huddled together in the basements of two of the sturdiest homes on the hill and in the direct path of the storm. After the tornado passed, there was little left but rubble as the houses and trees that once dotted the landscape were left a mangled mess. The worst part, according to family members, was hearing the screams for help.

“We were going to stay in my basement but my cousin stopped by and urged us to go to Uncle Larry “Bub” Jackson’s next door. We watched it (the tornado) take the church down to the frame then we ran in and like two seconds later it hit us,” said Amy Chumbley, who huddled in the basement with about 25 members of the family and neighbors. “We have a disabled family member so some of them huddled in the bathroom upstairs. After it hit, we opened the doors and watched it take the next house. It was horrifying. All I remember is my 2-year-old grandbaby crying and the house shaking. Afterwards, my grandbaby screamed bloody murder because he didn’t want to go outside.”

Also screaming for help were family members down the street in the other basement. They had to be dug out from under the debris. Autumn White, a 24-year-old family member who has taken on the responsibility for coordinating the influx of supplies on the hill, said the family was fortunate no one lost their life. One aunt lost two toes but received less injury than the man who pushed her under a table to safety just before debris fell on him crushing his legs. Two older men in a nearby mobile home rode out the storm with their trailer tumbling, landing one of them in a ditch. Family members began search and rescue using a four-wheeler type vehicle until emergency help could arrive.

A proud and independent lot, the family and neighbors have pulled together as a community to deal with their situation. They appear strong on the surface, but in the dark of night, nothing can stop the nightmares. “We’re all having nightmares,” said White, who has spent every day since the storm coordinating a large trailer donated by the Kimball Office in Salem now filled with Red Cross and other donated supplies. FEMA has also added a heated trailer and tent set up as an informal community command center for the residents. Red Cross mental health volunteers have made several visits and are available to help those who want to talk about their fears and to offer guidance on how to deal with the nightmares and bad memories.

Red Cross assistance has also been provided to the residents of Daisy Hill in the form of hot mobile meals delivered twice daily by volunteer Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) teams. ERV driver Gilbert Abney has spent the last 14 days driving up the hill to take food, hot coffee and hot chocolate and has bonded with the family. “He calls me Pink Panther because I wear pink all the time,” White said. “Of all the people we’ve had bring things, he’s my favorite. He is always chipper and leaves us all smiling.”

Chumbley said,”Everybody’s been wonderful. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the kind of help we’ve received.” In addition to help with food and clothing, Chumbley received Red Cross assistance replacing some destroyed medications.

As for White, a now unemployed CNA because of the time she has taken to help her family, is moving forward with wedding plans for Saturday at New Hope Tabernacle in Sellersburg, hoping people remember to come. “There are a lot of destroyed wedding invitations out there,” she said. Last Friday, what was left of the ancestral home was knocked down with debris burned in the hole that was once the basement. “It was like a funeral,” she said. “Everybody was bawling and saying goodbye to our history.”


Fast Facts: Kentucky/Indiana Tornadoes

March 12, 2012

As the Red Cross relief effort enters its second week of service delivery, teams of Client Caseworkers are canvassing affected areas in Southern Indiana and Eastern Kentucky to assess the ongoing needs of families ravaged by the recent tornadoes. Client Caseworkers reach out to families to help determine recovery options such as housing, food, clothing, and medications.

The following information shows our total service delivery since the beginning of the severe weather in Kentucky and Indiana:


Press Release: Red Cross Volunteers Offer Emotional Support

March 8, 2012

Red Cross Volunteers Offer Emotional Support
Residents Affected by Tornadoes Receive Counseling to Cope with Stress

CHATTANOOGA, TN, March 7, 2012 — For many people across East Tennessee the emotional stress of dealing with two catastrophic tornadoes within the last ten months can be almost too much to bear. An essential part of the Red Cross disaster response effort is providing emotional support to those who have been affected by the storm. Trained health care professionals make condolence visits to the bereaved, provide emotional support, determine health needs and replace essentials such as critical medications and eye glasses.

“Many times after a disaster, those who have been affected really just want someone to listen to them and to hear their story,” said Boyd Romines, CEO East Tennessee American Red Cross. “Our volunteers are trained to help clients cope with their feelings of shock, fear and uncertainty and to aid them in the recovery process.”

Red Cross caseworkers are also meeting one-one-one with disaster victims to provide access to resources and tools to support the recovery process, and the means to help replace essential items like clothing and household goods.

Mobilizing the resources to respond to a disaster of this size is possible because of the Red Cross’s year-round preparedness. Day in, day out, volunteers are working to update and assess shelter agreements, attend community and state wide preparedness meetings, maintain vehicles, organize and restock warehouse supplies as well as update training and recruit new volunteers. That is why ongoing donations to support the Red Cross — in addition to helping with disaster response — are so very important.

As of March 7th more than 140 trained Red Cross disaster workers across East Tennessee have:

  • Opened 4 Emergency Shelters to provide storm victims with a safe haven
  • Served more than 10,170 meals and snacks
  • Handed out nearly 2,739 recovery items
  • Delivered 118 Personal Care Kits and household cleaning items.

Red Cross volunteers and staff members across East Tennessee are currently helping with the widespread storm relief effort in all areas that experienced damage including Bradley, Claiborne, Hamilton, McMinn, Monroe & Polk Counties.


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