The American Red Cross, Nebraska – Southwest Iowa Region is looking back at 2013. Communications Manager Liz Dorland says it has been a busy year for their 4,000 volunteers. She says the month of December alone was one of their busiest. As of Monday they responded to more than 60 house fires and helped more than 200 individuals with food, clothing, shelter and care.
Dorland says the regional office responded to two large disasters. The first being the September South Platte River flooding. More than 30 volunteers provided more than 600 hours to deliver disaster relief supplies to those in the path of rising water. On October 3rd, multiple tornadoes ripped through the towns of Hickman and Bennett in southeast Nebraska. One day later a large tornado hit Wayne and Macy in northeast Nebraska. Again about 30 workers went through the area to access damage. Teams immediately circulated emergency response vehicles through neighborhoods to provide food and clean up supplies. They also provided hygiene items, information and comfort.
That same storm blanketed western Nebraska with heavy snow and high winds that cut power to many residents and towns. As soon as roads were clear volunteers provided services there as well. She says many of the local volunteers were also deployed to other parts of the country where there were 146 large disasters and 52,000 fires in 2013.