The American Red Cross is responding in Massachusetts where tornadoes cut a destructive swath through the western part of the state this week. At least 480 people spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters in Massachusetts.About 19 communities reported tornado damage with the heaviest damage around Springfield, the third largest city in the state. Red Cross workers responded immediately, assisting area residents as well as the hundreds of emergency responders on the scene. Disaster teams opened shelters throughout the area and are providing food, drinks and emotional support. Damage assessment will begin today. Additional workers are being deployed to the region from Red Cross chapters in Connecticut and Massachusetts. "This has been an extraordinary response effort that we expect will continue for days to come," said Paige Thayer, deputy director of chapter support for the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter in Massachusetts. "We have a terrific team of volunteers who will continue to provide relief services to those in need." The Red Cross response in Massachusetts comes on the heels of a multitude of large disaster relief operations this spring. Overnight, at least four states reported more than 100 people in Red Cross shelters. Red Cross workers are helping people in the northwestern region of the country, where rising rivers are forcing people from their homes. More than 250 people spent Wednesday night in Red Cross shelters in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. In North Dakota, as many as 60 Red Cross workers from all around the country have arrived to operate shelters, provide food and offer emotional support to the many people whose lives have been disrupted. Additional staff and supplies are being deployed to the area. "This is the beauty of the American Red Cross," said West Dakota Chapter Executive Director Janel Schmitz. "In these situations, the Red Cross deploys volunteers from across the country to support the response effort. Someday, our volunteers will return the favor to them." The Red Cross depends on financial donations to get help to people affected by disasters. Please consider making a donation today to help to those in need. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
********** Published: June 2, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 7