American Red Cross Shelters Join Oklahoma Disaster Relief

May 22, 2013

American Red Cross shelters across the nation are joining in disaster relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma and other areas affected by this week’s tornados that ripped through those communities.  So far they’ve deployed 27 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) and opened at least 6 shelters.

Laura Seyfang with Dayton Area Red Cross says they are  preparing their ERV for deployment – so far they have not received the request to send it, but they have sent at least three volunteers to disaster sites in Oklahoma.

"At this point in time, what they are calling for from across the country were individuals who are experienced in mental health and grief counseling to provide support for the families of those who have been affected, so two of the individuals that we sent fall into that category. They been on multiple, kind of national disasters so they have experience at this level, and can provide some leadership role in helping with the mental health needs of the victims out there.”

While in Oklahoma, Seyfang says the volunteers will keep the Dayton Chapter posted on their activities. She adds that some people in the Miami Valley have called to ask if they should head to Oklahoma to help out. The Red Cross is advising against that until further notice.

She says, “Because if we just have a lot of folks that who really aren’t trained to help it can just add to the confusion out there and we don’t want to do that. I think the best thing people can do is help themselves be prepared at home incase there is a tornado here, because certainly we’re all in that season. So, following just good safety tips around tornado preparedness is real appropriate.”

The American Red Cross is accepting monetary donations to help with disaster relief. More information about Red Cross Services can be found on their website