Red Cross response to Mississippi Tornado
Published 5:32 pm Monday, April 10, 2023
Severe storms came through Mississippi on March 24-25, 2023, resulting in elevated wind speeds and catastrophic long track tornadoes. During this event, there were 26 tornado, 66 damaging wind, and 7 hail events reported. More than 21,500 customers were without power as a result of the storms, although that number of power outages was down to a little more than 6,500 by March 26.
THE REGIONAL RESPONSE
For more than two weeks, the American Red Cross has been helping people recover from the tornadoes and storms throughout the South and Midwest. The Red Cross is helping now and will be there in the weeks and months to come as communities start to recover.
Across the South and Midwest, where storms and tornadoes hit Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas. Alabama and Mississippi, more than 870 trained Red Cross disaster workers (mostly volunteers) are on the ground now. They have provided more than 26,000 overnight stays in 53 shelters, served more than 252,700 meals and snacks, and delivered relief supplies to more than 20,000 households.
HERE IN MISSISSIPPI
Hardest hit was Mississippi, where multiple tornadoes left devastation behind in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, Montgomery, Panola, and Sharkey counties, with additional damage in parts of Chickasaw, Clay, Hinds, Holmes, Lauderdale, Lee, Leflore, Newton, Pontotoc, Smith, Sunflower, Washington, Webster and Yazoo counties. While more than 21,500 Mississippi customers were left without power after the storms, that number was reduced to a little over 5,000 customers within three days. Quick response by power companies meant that every home or business that could accept power has it by now.
THE MISSISSIPPI DAMAGE
Damage assessment in Mississippi is almost complete. Of the 3,251 residences assessed, 805 are classified as destroyed or suffered major damage. Either way they are unlivable and their residents are a priority concern.
RED CROSS RESPONSE IN MISSISSIPPI
- Five shelters were opened immediately. Since March 24 Red Cross has hosted 2,463 overnight stays in 32 shelters and available local hotel rooms.
- We’ve divided the impacted areas in to six Zones (five in Mississippi/one in Alabama), and each Zone has its own team of shelter workers, food servers, ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) drivers, and other volunteers to distribute disaster supplies, serve those needing health or mental health assistance, and caseworkers to work individually with each family or resident to help plan their path to recovery.
- As of Monday morning, our volunteers and partners have provided 154,915 meals and snacks
- To date, 77,536 relief supplies including comfort kits, cleanup kits, tarps and other emergency supplies have been provided to 6,315 local households.
- Mississippi operations have been supported by 483 trained Red Cross disaster workers, mostly volunteers. Of these, there are 73 who are trained to support health and mental health services and spiritual care needs in the shelters and throughout the community, including providing grief counseling and other services to the families of more than 20 people killed during the storms.
- Red Cross volunteers have provided support to 10 county Emergency Operations Centers.
- Red Cross caseworkers have opened 872 individual assistance cases involving 2,416 people with recovery support including financial assistance and replacement of eyeglasses or other medical needs.
- As of today (Monday, April 10) only one shelter remains open in Amory MS. We will, however, keep shelter crews on hand for at least another week so we can open and staff one or more additional shelter if needed. Our crews are out looking for any residents with unmet needs. And our caseworkers will be working with storm victims – especially those whose home was destroyed or suffered major damage -for a long time to ensure they get the help they need.
WATCH TY’S STORY ABOUT HIS LIFE AFTER THE MISSISSIPPI TORNADOES
Click on this link (https://vimeo.com/814837397) to watch one man’s story about surviving the tornadoes and how Red Cross helped his family.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Give Blood: Visit www.RedCrossBlood.org to find a blood drive near you. Save lives by giving blood.
Volunteer: Become a Red Cross Volunteer. Visit www.RedCross.org/Volunteer to start the process.
Make a Donation: You can donate many ways:
- Call toll-free 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669)
- Visit www.RedCross.org/Donate to give online
- Mail your check to American Red Cross, 612 East Pass Road, Gulfport MS 39507