Red Cross Volunteers From Memphis Chapter Deployed To TN And AL

(Memphis) Strong storms over the past few days changed the lives of thousands of people.

More than 30 people have been killed, and the number of dead is expected to increase.

Those left behind are now having to rebuild their lives.

They’re trying to salvage what they can with the help of volunteers.

Among them is a team from Memphis with the Mid-South Chapter of the Red Cross.

They left Tuesday morning, heading to the Tennessee/Alabama border.

One of the volunteers is Mary Simmons from Millington.

“I just have a calling in my heart to help people. This is, I guess, my career,” said Simmons.

Simmons is leaving her family for a week and heading to the Tennessee/Alabama border.

She’s joining other Red Cross volunteers from the Memphis Chapter to help in the tornado recovery efforts.

“When we get there I’m going to be doing damage assessment. Where we go door to door and we pretty much evaluate what the damage is on the property or per-block in the area that’s been affected,” said Simmons.

At the Red Cross office in Midtown, the call has been going out for volunteers after deadly tornadoes swept through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee on Monday.

Kim Cribb, with the Memphis Chapter, said there’s still the need for help in Arkansas where more than a dozen people were killed Sunday.

“There’s currently more people that have actually been asked to deploy to other places, whether it’s Mississippi or Arkansas. And so there’s more volunteers going later today or even tomorrow,” said Cribb.

The Memphis Chapter will be sending two emergency response vehicles and disaster relief supplies to Lincoln and Moore counties in Tennessee, as well as damaged areas in Northern Alabama.

Robert Wallace is a public affairs volunteer with the Red Cross who also headed out Tuesday morning.

“I’m documenting what the Red Cross is doing. I do that with pictures and words and on social media,” said Wallace.

He’s covered several disasters as a Red Cross volunteer and said the job never gets easier.

But he knows the work he does will inform the public and provide important information for disaster victims too.

“The people who have been affected by these storms need to know where they can go and find resources and help. And that’s one of our jobs, to communicate with them and get that information out there,” said Wallace.

The Red Cross is also helping storm victims in Central Arkansas.

More than 150 families are in shelters set up by the Red Cross at churches and schools in Vilonia and Mayflower.

About 3,000 homes in the two towns were either damaged or destroyed in Sunday night’s tornadoes.

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