American Red Cross helps with Mississippi storm relief
Little Rock, Arkansas – The American Red Cross is providing assistance to those in Mississippi following the state’s storm devastation on Friday evening as disaster relief operations continue.
More than 100 individuals have taken sanctuary in the local Red Cross shelters in Mississippi, which already have three shelters open.
Over the next few days, the Red Cross in our area will deploy Arkansans to assist in Mississippi.
“At this point for Missouri and Arkansas, we are in contact with Mississippi and are working to determine what we can do to support those people there on the ground in Red Cross. And we’ve already sent two individuals. One is going to go for disaster mental health assistance and provide that type of support and the other individual is going to provide technology support in terms of getting things set up for computer capabilities and things of that nature,” American Red Cross/Missouri and Arkansas, Regional Communications Director, Sharon Watson said.
The nonprofit claims that financial contributions are the most effective way to help the present staff members working in Mississippi, although volunteers are still required and welcomed.
“Red Cross is actually operated with mostly volunteers. 90 percent of our workforce is volunteers so without our volunteers we could not do what we do. The power of volunteers is amazing, especially in situations like this,” Watson said.
Red Cross officials warn that it may take some time to determine exactly how much aid will be required after a disaster, but they are confident that the number of people in need will rise.
“Our disaster responders going in to help support them would be going potentially to help staff a shelter and work at that shelter. That individual might be serving food or just being there as mental health support. They may be there as health services. We help with people who have gone through a disaster and need replacement of prescriptions or glasses and things like that,” Watson said.
While aiding other states after disasters is crucial, Watson advises that you should also look for volunteer opportunities in your own state.
The American Red Cross also cautions about falling for con artists that operate during emergencies.
Calls from “government agencies” offering significant lump sums of cash, calls or emails claiming a volunteer has been detained, or emails implying illicit donation transfers have occurred, are a few examples, but not all of them. Email scams could originate from RedCross.net.
You are invited to get in touch with the National Center for Disaster Fraud if you feel someone is misusing the American Red Cross name or logo.