Severe Weather and Rain Threaten – Red Cross Responds

Published: 4 May 2017 2:03 CET

The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states, providing food and shelter for hundreds of people affected by severe weather and flooding. More rain and storms are predicted in some of the same parts of the country over the coming days, and the Red Cross is monitoring the situation and prepared to launch additional responses if needed.


More than 250 people sought refuge from the storms Tuesday night in 19 shelters across Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit, check the Red Cross Emergency App or call 1-800-768-8048.


In addition to shelters, Red Cross volunteers are providing food and relief items and health and mental health services. In some areas, Red Cross caseworkers are beginning to connect one-on-one with families now to create recovery plans and access additional support.


How you can help Hundreds of people across a large part of the country need your help now. Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single donation brings hope to those in need.


Make a donation today by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.


Help people affected by disasters like severe storms and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.


Red Cross Response

In Missouri, 202 people spent Tuesday night in 10 shelters. Flooding in St. Louis County impacted as many as 200 homes and another 1,500 are in harm’s way. More than 100 homes in Carter County are damaged and river levels continue to rise. The situation is expected to worsen and the Red Cross is monitoring the situation. The Red Cross is also helping in Illinois where flooding hit the central and southern regions of the state. Major river flooding has been predicted to potentially hit the state next week, and the Red Cross is working with state and local officials and ready to respond if needed.


Almost 45 Arkansas residents spent Tuesday night in five shelters. Flood waters continue to rise and mandatory evacuations are occurring in several areas. The Red Cross is working with local and state officials to ensure people get the help they need.


Tornadoes ripped apart parts of Texas, where as many as 5,000 buildings may be affected. The Red Cross has shelters open to help those affected. The storms also caused damage in Mississippi and Red Cross disaster teams are providing relief items, food, health and mental health services, as well as helping to assess the damage and assist people as they recover.


How to stay safe

Download emergency app People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to


Tornadoes – The Red Cross and The Weather Channel have partnered to produce the Weather Red Report airing Sundays at 8:40 a.m. ET on The Weather Channel, during which viewers can learn the latest on current weather-related emergencies and how to stay safe during weather-related disasters.

Watch the Weather Red Report on tornado safety here.



  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
  • If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
  • If you are inside a home, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, or tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.


  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.