The deadliest severe weather outbreak in more than 40 years has hit states in the Southeast United States. The death toll continues to rise, but at the time of this writing it is near 300. The Storms Prediction Center in Norman, OK reports 165 tornadoes were reported in a 24 hour period from Missouri to New York.
Less than 12 hours after the event was over, crews from the North Central Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross were en route to help the affected region. The first wave of help left Thursday morning. By afternoon, another team was gathering supplies and preparing to head out.
"We know its bad there," said Executive Director Katrina Farmer. Farmer was working to prepare the vehicle that the team would take to the region. She said the effort to help others is huge. "It takes the whole country to take care of people in disasters and unfortunately we've had many disasters in the last weeks and months and there's no end in sight."
When the Firestorm Across Texoma hit, Red Cross teams from other states poured in to help. Farmer says its great to be able to pay that help forward. "Its awesome for us as Texans to be able to help out they.ve been there for us and now its our turn to be there for them," said Farmer.
The teams are deploying to Clinton, MS. The Jackson suburb has been affected by floods and tornadoes. The crews will assist with disaster assessment and logistics. "They will go and out people will be helping those people out, just like people have come here to help us in the last couple weeks."
That help costs the group money to provide and they are asking for your help. Farmer says you can make a financial donation to any local chapter or to the national Red Cross on their web site. The American Red Cross also sent out a text message to previous donors asking them to step up once again.
To donate via SMS text message, send the words "Red Cross" to 90999. You should expect an automated reply that instructs you on how to donate $10 from your phone bill by replying. Standard message rates apply.