Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2012 Vol. 59 No. 6

RED CROSS RELIEF IN A DISASTER

Coastal Counties Command Workshop

On the afternoon of April 3, 2012, 16 tornadoes went on a rampage across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. In the immediate aftermath of the storms, the American Red Cross opened shelters and distributed thousands of meals, snacks and clean-up supplies. Additionally, Red Cross teams worked with city officials to open "one-stop shops" for tornado victims in Lancaster and Arlington, Texas.

At the Disaster Assistance Centers, families are able to meet with numerous organizations, all with the aim of helping them get on the road to recovery.  The Disaster Assistance Centers assisted residents with everything from how to handle debris removal to finding lost items.

The American Red Cross’ disaster services include Mass Care, Logistics, Family Financial Assistance, Mental Health Services, and Health Services.

Mass Care
The American Red Cross provides for the immediate emergency needs of disaster victims and emergency workers in a disaster area.  This includes sheltering, feeding, and distribution of relief supplies.  The Red Cross may open shelters to offer safe, short-term housing by those displaced from their homes.

Logistics
Logistics in a disaster includes providing regular meals to affected disaster victims, either in shelters or other specified locations.  The Red Cross also provides relief items such as clean-up kits, comfort kits, food, water, ice, and other items.

Family Financial Assistance
The Red Cross trains caseworkers who provide disaster assistance to affected citizens on a case-by-case basis.  This includes direct assistance such as vouchers for clothing, hotel, medical, and other items.  All disaster assistance is a gift supported by donations.

Mental Health Services
The Red Cross uses trained, licensed mental health workers to provide brief counseling to both disaster workers and victims. 

Health Services
The Red Cross provides volunteers with appropriate training and experience who provide emergency and preventative health services to disaster victims and workers.

Assistance from the American Red Cross is coordinated through several chapter offices across the state of Texas.  Please contact your chapter to find out more about services available during a disaster and volunteer opportunities.  A list of chapter websites in Texas follows.

American Red Cross of Central Texas, Austin
American Red Cross of North Central Texas, Wichita Falls
American Red Cross of Southwest Texas, Midland
Beaumont Chapter, Beaumont
Chisholm Trail Chapter, Fort Worth
Coastal Bend - Texas Chapter, Corpus Christi
Crossroads Chapter, Victoria
Dallas Area Chapter, Dallas
East Texas Piney Woods Chapter, Longview
Eastern Texas Panhandle Chapter, Pampa
El Paso Area Chapter, El Paso
Greater Houston Area Chapter, Houston
Heart of Texas Area Chapter, Waco
Hill Country Chapter, Kerrville
Lamar County Chapter, Paris
Orange County Chapter, Orange
Pecan Valley Chapter, San Angelo
Rio Colorado Chapter, Bay City
San Antonio Area Chapter, San Antonio
Smith County Chapter, Tyler
South Plains Regional Chapter, Lubbock
South Texas Chapter, Harlingen
Texarkana Area Chapter, Texarkana
Texas Panhandle Chapter, Amarillo
Texoma Area Chapter, Denison


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