The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Note: this story was written by Mid-South Red Cross Volunteer Bob Wallace during his recent deployment to the national disaster response in Moore, Oklahoma.
Moore, Oklahoma, June 10, 2013
Heather Carr, whose home was devastated by the Moore, Oklahoma, tornadoes, was delighted to learn that she qualifies for assistance. Carr came to the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Moore, Oklahoma to ask for help in repairing and reestablishing her home. In addition to financial assistance from the Red Cross, Carr was directed to a number of other agencies at the center for help in getting a tarp installed on the roof of her home, the removal of fiberglass insulation from her property, and the replacement of destroyed food, furniture and clothes.
Carr was monitoring the news prior to the storm, when she learned that she had only a few minutes before two tornadoes, each approaching from a different direction, was going to hit her neighborhood. She grabbed her three kids, jumped in the car and tried to make it to a nearby highway only to find that the roads were clogged with traffic. Returning home, she found her home had suffered severe wind damage, flooding, and that trees were down everywhere. “I couldn’t even get into our neighborhood, but at least we had a home to return home too,” she mused. “That’s a lot more than many other folks had.” She was very thankful that her three dogs and cat, which she had to leave inside her home, were found safe.
Carr was only one of many people at the MARC who were seeking assistance with recovery from the tornadoes. Agencies present to provide help, in addition to the Red Cross, included Catholic Charities, Children’s Disaster Services, The Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, the Oklahoma Office of Disaster Management, FEMA, Small Business Association, Salvation Army Disaster Services, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In addition, AT&T provided an Internet café, the Red Cross had plentiful snacks, and the Salvation Army provided a hearty lunch. Red Cross mental health and spiritual care workers roamed the hall handing out encouraging words and emotional support when needed.
Story and photo credit: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross