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6 Red Cross Volunteers Deployed in Cumberland County

KNOXVILLE -— As dangerous storms passed through the area last evening members of the Red Cross Emergency Services department were making sure Chapters were ready to respond if needed. When the call came for help in Cumberland County local and regional Red Cross resources were mobilized to help. "We are working closely with local officials to assess damage and the need to open a shelter for those affected by the storm," said Valerie Lee, chapter executive for the Cumberland County Red Cross.

A Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) with tarps and clean up kits is on its way to the affected area to distribute items in addition to providing meals. Workers are deploying to affected neighborhoods to begin assessing the extent of the tornado damage.

The American Red Cross is helping people across the country after storms left a path of destruction throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States, destroying buildings and leaving thousands without power. This is the third time tornadoes have devastated parts of Missouri in less than a year. Red Cross workers have opened shelters and are providing meals for displaced residents. Red Cross chapters are preparing to open shelters and are serving meals to those affected as well as emergency responders. To find an open Red Cross shelter, visit or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). iPhone users can download a free Red Cross shelter view app from the app store.

With the threat of more storms in the coming days, residents should be on the watch for tornado warning signs such as dark, greenish clouds, large hail, a roaring noise, a cloud of debris or funnel clouds. It's a good idea to secure outside items such as lawn furniture or trash cans, which could be picked up by the wind and injure someone. If a tornado watch is issued, it means tornadoes are possible and people should be ready to act quickly. If a tornado warning is issued, it means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar and people should go underground immediately to a basement or storm cellar or to an interior room such as a bathroom or closet.

As residents begin to deal with the aftermath of these deadly storms, the Red Cross reminds people to stay out of damaged buildings and immediately report any fallen power lines or broken gas lines to the utility companies. If people are out of their homes, they should return to their neighborhood only when officials say it is safe to do so. Other safety steps include: • People should use flashlights, not candles, when examining buildings. If someone smells gas or hears a hissing noise, they should open a window and get everyone out of the building immediately and call the gas company or fire department.

• Check for injuries. If someone is trained, they should provide first aid until emergency responders arrive.
• People should listen to their local news or NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.

For more information about how to stay safe if tornadoes threaten someone's community, people can visit the preparedness section of

Published March 1, 2012, 10:14 a.m.

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