Red Cross responding to tornado in Baxter Springs

A officer talks to people at 15th and Military following Sunday's tornado in Baxter Springs, Kan., Sunday April 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Joplin Globe, Roger Nomer )

WICHITA, Kansas – Red Cross volunteers from the Midway-Kansas chapter are on the scene in, Baxter Springs to help those affected by the tornado.

The damage assessment team is on the ground to determine the extent of the damage. In addition, a shelter team is en route to set up a an emergency shelter to help residents impacted by the storm by offering a safe place to stay, a hot meal, minor first aid, and a shoulder to lean on. The location of the shelter will be determined as soon as possible.

“In the days and weeks to come, the Midway-Kansas Chapter will be coordinating with emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by the tornado get back on their feet,” said Bev Morlan, Executive Director. “The Red Cross will keep shelters open as long as needed, in addition to providing mobile feeding and mental health support to those affected by the storm.”

Local restaurants are currently assisting the Red Cross with feeding for victims.

The Red Cross offers the following tips for those in the affected area to stay safe:

  • Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid damaged areas as your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations and put you at further risk from the residual effects of tornadoes.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • When it is safe to return home, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Avoid using candles.
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
  •  Clean up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline, or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard.
  • Take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be kept clear for emergency calls to get through.
  • Watch your animals closely.Keep all your animals under your direct control. Your pets may be able to escape from your home or through a broken fence. Pets may become disoriented, particularly because tornadoes and the heavy rains that accompany them will usually affect scent markers that normally allow animals to find their homes.

The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. To help disaster victims please contact the the American Red Cross at 1-800-RedCross or visit


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