The Southern Missouri Region (SOMO) of the American Red Cross helped nearly 400 individuals from September through mid-December in its 29-county service area. There were at least 140 children under the age of 18 including three infants. Twenty-four of those assisted were age 60 or older.
There were about 130 incidents where Red Cross volunteers were called upon to assist after house fires in 26 counties.
From the separate areas of the SOMO region:
Headquarters Area (HQ): 151 individuals received aid; 50 were under 18 years old, one was an infant, nine were age 60 or over. HQ serves nine counties including Hickory, Polk, Greene, Christian, Stone, Dallas, Laclede, Webster and Taney counties.
Southcentral Area (SCMO): 124 individuals received aid; 49 were under 18 years old, one was an infant, four were age 60 or over. SCMO serves 10 counties including Wright, Douglas, Ozark, Texas, Howell, Shannon, Oregon, Reynolds, Carter and Ripley counties.
Southwest Area (SWMO): 112 individuals received aid; 41 were under 18 years old, one was an infant, 11 were age 60 or over. SWMO serves 10 counties in Nevada and Joplin; and includes Vernon, Barton, Jasper, Newton, McDonald, St. Clair, Cedar, Dade, Lawrence, and Barry counties.
The people affected were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.
Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in structures with no working smoke alarms. On a national average, Red Cross workers help a family affected by a home fire or other disaster 190 times a day.
If someone would like to support the Red Cross mission and help those in need, they can visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
-Don Underwood, Public Affairs volunteer