TORNADO RELIEF - RED CROSS
American Red Cross Opens Call Center For Those Needing Assistance Following May Tornadoes


Oklahoma City, Friday June 29, 2013 — The Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) located at Westmoore High School will be transitioning over to long-term recovery on July 3. This is a joint decision between the Red Cross and partner agencies that have been working in the MARC since it opened May 26. Help from the American Red Cross will remain available to individuals and families in all impacted areas still needing assistance. A call center has been set up to field calls for those seeking Red Cross support. The number to call is 1-866-477-7276.

The call center will be staffed seven days a week from 9am to 7pm beginning on July 3rd.  Trained Red Cross outreach caseworkers will meet with those who call for assistance. In addition to responding to calls, caseworkers are also reaching out to those who have not been able to meet with the Red Cross. Those who call after hours will have the option to leave a voicemail for a caseworker to return their call.

Over the past several weeks, the Red Cross and its partner agencies have established long-term recovery committees and are working to create long-term case management centers for families to receive assistance.  All families needing further assistance should reach out to the American Red Cross by calling 1-866-477-7276.

The Red Cross is drawing up additional plans on how it will continue to support Oklahoma communities using the $28.4 million donated by individuals and organizations across Oklahoma and the nation. The Red Cross continues to monitor changing needs and is currently prepared to support funding in five areas:

• Emergency Response: The Red Cross has already spent or committed $8 million for its emergency response and initial assistance to families, and we estimate this will grow to as much as $9 million. Our focus right now is on meeting the immediate needs of people in these communities and making sure they have the resources they need.

• Case Management: Red Cross plans to allocate another $3-5 million to provide assistance for families who need extra help from trained caseworkers with unmet emergency needs and recovery planning. This could include assistance with transportation needs, home repairs, security deposits for new housing, storage of belongings, etc.

• The remainder of the donations to the Red Cross will be used to support the long term needs of the affected communities, including: o Individual and Community Resilience such as support for building safe rooms in homes, schools and communities o School Preparedness programs that include disaster drills, storm-ready programs and First Aid kits o Community Rebuild projects such as repairs to buildings and infrastructure.

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About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more 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. To learn more go online to www.redcross.org/okc.


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