ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s been an extremely busy year for natural disasters in Missouri, starting with the New Year’s Eve tornadoes, the March windstorms, the storm that smashed through Lambert-St. Louis Airport, and then the May 22nd tornado that devastated Joplin.
And nobody’s more aware of that than officials at the American Red Cross.
“We’ve deployed nearly 14,000 people over the course of the spring,” Becky White, disaster specialist with the St. Louis area chapter of the Red Cross, tells KMOX News. “They worked tirelessly to open 287 shelters, we served 3.5 million meals and snacks, and handed out 1.7 million relief items.”
And of course it wasn’t just Missouri that bore the brunt of Mother Nature’s fury, she says.
“This has been a very busy year for the American Red Cross,” White explains. “We had 46 relief operations going on across 31 states this spring…floods, tornadoes, wildfires. There has been much to respond to.”
Bill Devers, chief development officer with the St. Louis Red Cross office, pledges that the strain on resources has not, and will not, impact their ability to respond to the next disaster.
“Preparedness never stops, because we never know when a disaster’s going to strike,” Devers says. “As we’ve seen, (disasters) don’t really wait for us to be at a certain time or a certain date. When disasters come, they come.”
To help them stay prepared, Devers says they’ve been able to count on the ready response and generosity of donors.
“The community has been very, very good to us,” Devers points out. “Besides the support we get from the community, we also get a tremendous amount of support from the United Way.”
The bottom line, he says — “We are prepared to answer the call.”
To find out more about donating to the American Red Cross, go to www.redcross.org, or send donations to:
American Red Cross
10195 Corporate Square
St. Louis, MO 63132
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