Apr 28, 2014 11:40 PM by Alex Labat
As of now, 19 people are dead in three southern states, as severe weather barrels through. In Northeastern Mississippi, a tornado has caused damage in the community of Tupelo, where homes were several homes were damaged. A second twister in Mississippi touched down in Louisville, about 90 miles northeast of Jackson. And a third tornado caused extensive damage in Limestone County, Alabama. So far, there's no word of any injuries. Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency earlier today as a string of dangerous storms have caused two deaths in the state. The National Weather Service says the storm that hit Arkansas yesterday will probably rate as the nation's strongest twister this year.
With more than 200 people spending their nights in Red Cross shelters after that deadly tornado in Arkansas, back in Louisiana, Red Cross volunteers are on high alert. "We have, from the South Louisiana region, we've already deployed one person going up to Arkansas to help with what's called "Help Services" with Red Cross". That's actually the medical aspects of what Red Cross is doing once we open shelters there", says Tony Credeur with the Acadiana Red Cross, who deploys "Disaster Relief Units" to help deliver food and supplies. "It can also function, if necessary, as a small office to actually start working with some of the client casework that needs to be done. Or, as sort of a coordinating point for any operation that we have going on in the area", says Credeur.
But it's not just mobile vehicles that are helping those in Arkansas and Mississippi, but mobile phones as well. The Red Cross has a "Tornado App", that helps you before, during, and after the storm. "And alerts come out, a warning or watch, whatever may come out, it will immediately notify you that there is a warning or a watch in that area", says Credeur. Technology is helping to reach people in new and faster ways, but Credeur says you can't prepare for everything. "There's no such thing as a typical disaster".
If you'd like to help in the relief efforts, you have more than one way to do so. Head over to the http://www.redcross.org and click the "Donate Now" button. You can also call 1-800-733-2767, or send the "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.