Tornadoes Trigger American Red Cross Help to Southeast Virginia

Red Cross Moves into Southeast Virginia with food, supplies and comfort for victims

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the full scope of the tornado damage becomes evident, American Red Cross feeding vehicles, supplies and volunteers are heading into the storm stricken area. Hundreds of homes and business sustained major damage and last night the American Red Cross responded by providing supplies to the shelter setup by the City of Suffolk. Additional assistance, including mental health workers and more volunteers are moving into place to ensure that local residents have all of the help they need. The American Red Cross is also partnering with the local public health department to make sure enough nurses are available to those affected by the storms.

Also today, disaster assessment crews are rolling through neighborhoods determining the extent of the damage. The Red Cross shares this information with local, state and federal officials so that the community understands the full scope of the damage. This disaster assessment also helps the Red Cross plan for the amount of volunteers and supplies needed for the area.

"As the Red Cross jump starts its response, our feeding, mental health and work with public health are the first steps in placing the community on the road to recovery," said Joe Becker, senior vice president, disaster services. "It's heartbreaking to see the homes destroyed by this event, but the American Red Cross will be here to provide shelter, food and emotional support to victims of this tragedy."

If you have been affected by the disaster, then please register yourself on the Safe and Well Website ( From a list of standard messages, you can select those that you want to communicate to your family members, letting them know of your well-being.

After the storms:

Although tornadoes generally occur during spring and summer and more frequently in the Plain states, they can happen anytime, anywhere. Regardless of the location or time of year, if conditions are right, a tornado can develop. Tornadoes have been reported in every state. They can strike at any time of the day or night but are most likely to occur between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The American Red Cross recommends people take the following actions to stay safer after a tornado:

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Southeastern Virginia Tornadoes, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

SOURCE American Red Cross