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American Red Cross provides suggestions if you want to help Moore, Oklahoma

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News release from the American Red Cross, Southern Missouri Region:

The American Red Cross volunteers opened several cases for disaster relief Seneca and Taney County overnight and are continuing to respond as other calls for sporadic assistance come in from across the 40 county Region.  

While we continue to work with individual cases here in Missouri, our teams of trained Volunteers are also prepared to respond to help our Neighbors in Oklahoma who are suffering. Debi Meeds, American Red Cross, Southern Missouri Regional CEO will be leaving for Oklahoma City first thing on Wednesday 5/22/13 to support the CEO in the Central and Western Oklahoma Region. Sadly on what is the 2nd anniversary of the tragedy in Joplin Missouri, she knows all too well the response that will consume the next days, weeks, and months as the Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to the people affect by this most recent disaster. 

We recognize that people want to help during this very large response effort and are so thankful to live in an area where people have such a heart for service to others in need. If you would like to help here is the information that we have at this time. 

Monetary donations are the very best way to help. Your donations allow us to purchase supplies and relief items locally as well as to provide shelter, food and emotional support to those in desperate need in Oklahoma and across the Midwest. 

If you are interested in volunteering, we ask at the request of the local Emergency Management in Oklahoma that you not self-deploy. This can cause delays in the current efforts which are search, rescue and recovery. 

Please visit (http://www.redcross.org/support/volunteer ) or your local office's page and complete the volunteer application. 

Inside the Affected Area:

If you are inside the affected area, the best thing to do is to sign up online right now. This will be where the list is pulled from once we are able to put folks to work and provide them with a little bit of training. You should expect to receive a call within a week at most, please be patient; they are dealing with a lot and are going to be trying their best to answer calls for assistance until a Spontaneous Volunteer Centers is set up. Listen to the news and as soon as something is set up as far as a volunteer center goes, please follow the local instructions. 

Outside the Affected Area:

The Red Cross depends upon a highly skilled and trained volunteer workforce. The best bet is for folks to sign up with their local chapter now, and get trained for the next disaster. Chances are you will not be deployed to this disaster because of the time it takes to train a volunteer for a job function, but we always encourage preparedness for the next time. 

We will get more information to you as we have it. Additional questions or to set up an interview about the relief efforts, please contact Nigel Holderby 417-207-6349 or email nigel.holderby@redcross.org 

You can help people affected by disasters like this devastating tornado as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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