American Red Cross Virginia chapter ready to aid in tornado recovery

American Red Cross Virginia chapter ready to aid in tornado recovery

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Nashville is slowly picking up the pieces in the wake of those deadly tornadoes, and this has many checking in on friends and loved ones stuck in its path of destruction.

The American Red Cross Virginia chapter says once they get an idea of the damage from the Tennessee chapter, then they will be ready to head over.

In the meantime, some who live in Nashville said that the people are recovering together.

“The streets were packed, everyone’s helping: moving trees, and debris - there’s water stations out. It seems very hopeful,” said Virginia native turned Nashville local, Brian Vaughn, who spent his whole morning calling and checking on friends who live in the storm’s path - after a long night.

“I think I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning, because after I heard about the first tornado, it kind of puts you on the edge, and I didn’t really want to sleep after that point," Vaughn said.

But this is why organizations like The American Red Cross are always ready.

“From past experiences, these are the types of events that we prepare for; why we train our volunteers on a very regular basis,” said Virginia chapter spokesperson Jonathan McNamara.

He says they are prepared to deploy volunteers who deal with setting up shelters, administering first aid, and even providing mental health care.

“The types of things that we do after single-family home fires here in Richmond, the types of things we’ve done in California, after a hurricane - the Red Cross has a tremendous amount of experience in this,” he said.

He adds that these tornados serve as a reminder for most folk to stay connected with technology, as it could save your life.

“Many of the people who were impacted were asleep, so having that NBC12 weather app or having the Red Cross Emergency app on your phone that will actually push a notification telling you that you need to seek shelter is really essential as we go into spring storm season here in Virginia,” McNamara said.

McNamara says they don’t know yet if The American Red Cross will be deploying, but if they do, they’ll be going with volunteers from other states like Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio.

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