As we know, there were deadly tornadoes that took place in Moore, Oklahoma along with other areas on May 20th, 2013. It was devastating, and many families suffered through the tragedy. Our Red Cross services have helped along the way and supported those families in need.
Trained Red Cross caseworkers are meeting one-on-one with people who need extra help with any unmet emergency needs and creating recovery plans. More than 6,300 cases have been opened to provide this individualized support to families. Furthermore, The Red Cross is soon to open new long-term recovery offices in El Reno, Shawnee and Moore where people can go for help with their recovery needs. We are collaborating with local, state, and federal partners to plan recovery assistance over the longer term, and are prepared to provide funding support in five areas:
- Emergency Response – The Red Cross has spent or committed $13 million for its emergency response and initial assistance to families. Our focus right now is on meeting the immediate needs of people in these communities and making sure they have the resources they need.Case Management – The Red Cross plans to allocate another $10 million to provide assistance for families who need extra help from trained caseworkers with unmet emergency needs and recovery planning. This could include assistance with transportation needs, home repairs, security deposits for new housing and storage of belongings.
- Individual and Community Resilience – Such as funds for building safe rooms in homes, schools and communities. This will get the largest share of the funding for our work on these longer-term needs.
- School Preparedness – Programs that include disaster drills, storm-ready programs and First Aid kits.
- Community Rebuild – projects such as repairs to buildings and infrastructure, such as a new well for the Stillman Estates Housing Association near Shawnee.
Our large response has spanned multiple communities in the area over the past two months. A total of more than 2,000 Red Cross workers have been part of our response, with about 50 workers assigned there two months after the tornadoes. The work of the Red Cross in Oklahoma has included Serving nearly 460,000 meals and snacks, Distributing nearly 400,000 relief items like sunscreen, ice chests, buckets, gloves, dust masks, flashlights, tarps, shovels and rakes, Providing about 24,000 health services and mental health contacts, and providing 6,300 overnight Stay in disaster shelters. The Red Cross has also done responsive donations such as fund raisers as well as texted donations.