Red Cross marks six months since Woodward Tornado
WOODWARD — Monday will mark six months since a deadly tornado ripped through Woodward, Oklahoma. The tornado touched down in the early morning hours after a long night of power storms slammed Oklahoma. The Red Cross quickly deployed to Woodward as soon as it became clear a tornado leveled homes and businesses, tore down power lines and scattered personal possessions for miles.Six Months LaterSince the storm hit six months ago, The Red Cross continues to remain active in the long term recovery for those impacted by the tornado. The Red Cross is part of a recovery committee providing vital information to assist families still trying to rebound from this storm. Hundreds of caseworkers met with families to asses their needs and work on long-term recovery Additionally, Red Cross mental health workers remain available for counseling and continue to perform follow up with clients.To help the community prepare for future storms, The Red Cross hosted classes on preparedness and resiliency. The goal is to create a neighbor-to-neighbor approach to providing psychological first aid and resilience-building for families, children and friends who have undergone a crisis.United Way and CF Industries are just a couple of partner agencies and local community leaders that stepped up to help with recovery. CF Industries donated weather radios to the community three months after the tornado and handed out over 1,000 of them. Weather radios are a vital tool to help provide peace of mind and ensure that residents will be better prepared for storms in the future.Nearly 100 Red Cross volunteers from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Wyoming arrived on the small town to open shelters for the hundreds of displaced residents. Many of these residents were without foods, supplies and a safe place to stay. Based on damage assessment, 73 homes were destroyed and 99 were damaged. In addition to those shelters, Red Cross volunteers served over 12,000 meals and snacks to Woodward residents following the storm. They handed out thousands of bulk items including comfort kits with shampoo, toothpaste, soap and other necessities. Volunteers also handed out trash bags, rakes shovels and work gloves to help people salvage their belongings. The Red Cross remains committed to those affected by this tornado to ensure they receive the assistance they need to return to a sense of normal in their lives.Success StoryA nurse living in Woodward was one of those whose home was damaged by the tornado. She wasn’t home when the storm hit, but her family was and the home sustained significant damage. Six months later, she reports to the Red Cross almost all repairs to her home have been made. Impressed by the Red Cross and its volunteers, she decided to join the organization and help fulfill its mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. She is now a trained disaster responder and is now ready to help those, like her, who have been impacted by disaster.