American Red Cross provides update to tornado recovery efforts in multiple states

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --  The American Red Cross provided an update Sunday, Dec. 12, on the ongoing recovery efforts for the communities impacted by tornadoes in multiple states on Friday, Dec. 10.

The American Red Cross and assistingg partners are working to respond across multiple states to help those in need and make sure impacted families and citizens have a safe place to stay, food to eat, critical relief supplies, emotional support and comfort in the face of one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in years.

"Our thoughts are with everyone whose lives were changed forever by the horrific and deadly tornadoes that touched down overnight across the center of the country," said Laura McGuire, Regional Communications Manager of American Red Cross – Wisconsin Region.

The American Red Cross announced Sunday that they are unaware of any local Wisconsinites being deployed to the affected area. 

Officials announced the following measures are being taken to provide aid to the victims of the widespread tornado damage:

- Several emergency shelters are open to provide comfort for people who can’t return home.

- Red Cross volunteers will be out in affected communities assessing the damage left behind to help determine the types of support people may need in the coming days and weeks.

- Organizers have started large relief efforts in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri to provide safe shelter, comfort and support in the face of one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in years.

- As of Saturday night, there are at least eight emergency shelters open in Kentucky providing safe refuge to about 190 people. Shelters are also open in Tennessee.

- The Red Cross has provided approximately 200 additional blood products to hospitals in response to these devastating tornadoes. 

- The Red Cross is not accepting donations of food, household items or clothing — as they cannot be distributed by our teams.

According to Sunday's update, you can help people affected by disasters like storms, home fires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Officials say that those in areas unaffected by this tornado outbreak are urged to make an appointment today to give blood and ensure blood products are available for patients wherever the need arises.

The Red Cross says your donation is a commitment to helping people in need, and every single contribution helps the Red Cross prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

"To make a financial donation or schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets, visit or call 800-RED CROSS." McGuire said.

The public can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor app or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift today.

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