American Red Cross Southern Missouri Region, June 6, 2014 — The Southern Missouri Region (SOMO) of the American Red Cross helped more than 135 individuals with at least 56 children, under the age of 18. Twelve of those assisted were age 60 and older. This was an increase of about 12 percent in individual assistance compared to May of last year.
From the 40-county service area of the SOMO region:
There were nearly 50 incidents of fires in 25 of the 40 counties in May, 2014 compared to May of 2013, when at least 119 people received assistance after more than 30 fires in 17 of the 40 counties.
Southwest Area (SWMO): 41 individuals received aid; 16 were under 18 years old; one was age 60 or over. SWMO has offices in Nevada and Joplin; and includes Vernon, Barton, Jasper, Newton, McDonald, St. Clair, Cedar, Dade, Lawrence, and Barry counties.
Regional Headquarters Area (RHQ): 30 individuals received aid; 13 were under 18 years old, including one infant; three were age 60 or over. RHQ has offices in Springfield and Lebanon; and includes Hickory, Polk, Greene, Christian, Stone, Dallas, Laclede, Webster, and Taney counties.
Southcentral Area (SCMO): 20 individuals received aid; six were under 18 years old with four people who received assitance age 60 or over. SCMO has a physical office in West Plains; and includes Wright, Douglas, Ozark, Texas, Howell, Shannon, Oregon, Reynolds, Carter, and Ripley counties.
Southeast Area (SEMO): 45 individuals received aid; 21 were under 18 years old, including one infant; four were age 60 or over. SEMO has a physical office in Cape Girardeau, and includes Wayne, Butler, Perry, Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Stoddard, Dunklin, Scott, Mississippi, New Madrid and Pemiscot counties.
The people affected were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.
Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in structures with no working smoke alarms. On a national average, Red Cross workers help a family affected by a home fire or other disaster 190 times a day.
If someone would like to support the Red Cross mission and help those in need, they can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.