30 Years Ago Today: Red Cross Worker Recounts Devastating Tornado

This story is from Tammy Forrester, CEO for the Wayne and Lenoir County Chapters of the American Red Cross

Thirty years ago today my little brother and I survived a tornado hitting our house while we were in it.  It’s as fresh in my mind today as if it were yesterday.

 Red Cross CEO, Tammy Forrester (left) comforts Kinston resident, Ida Jackson, after an apartment fire. with  Lenoir County Red Cross board member William Taylor.


Red Cross CEO, Tammy Forrester (left) comforts Kinston resident, Ida Jackson, after an apartment fire. with Lenoir County Red Cross board member William Taylor.

I didn’t know back then that I would ever be working for the American Red Cross. All I knew was that while I walked towards a sea of people standing in the intersection of our devastated neighborhood, that the first set of eyes that met mine was a little lady wearing a Red Cross vest.  She took us to the volunteer fire station were a shelter had been set up.

We stayed at the shelter for a couple of hours until our parents were found.  It was dry, safe, and we felt protected.  I watched her, with a hopeful smile on her face, help people that she had never seen and might not see again but for a brief time she comforted them and eased their anxiety.

There are days that I ask myself why I do what I do, but on days like today when my mind remembers that experience, I know.  I do not remember the volunteers name but I will NEVER forget what she did and how she made me feel.

 

More on deadly tornado outbreak from WCTI

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