Tornado Surprises Woman & her Dog

James Jarvis, an American Red Cross volunteer, distributes meals to Mrs. Judy Durbin and her mother following a tornado that destroyed her home.

James Jarvis, an American Red Cross volunteer, distributes meals to Mrs. Judy Durbin and her mother following a tornado that destroyed her home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judy Durbin was sitting on her couch in Chocowinity, watching television with her dog, Sammy.  In a matter of seconds and without warning, her life was turned upside down by a tornado.

“My power went out and the next thing I knew the windows blew in.  It happened just that fast!  I couldn’t wrap my mind around what was happening, and then it was gone,” she said.

The house had collapsed all around her, except the roof over her head and two windows behind her.

Durbin was sitting on her couch with Sammy held tightly in her arms, trying to figure out what had just happened, when her neighbor, Duncan, stepped in through what had until moments ago been a window.  “Why are you coming through my window,” she recounted thinking.

A transplanted Beaufort County resident, Durbin spent most of her life living in the midwestern United States – a place far more accustomed to tornadic activity.  During the majority of her life, she experienced not a single natural disaster.  She moved to North Carolina 15 years ago and since then has been through three.

This is also the third time she has been assisted by the American Red Cross.  During Hurricanes Floyd & Fran, she experienced severe flooding and the Red Cross was there to provide “just about everything we needed.”

“I think a lot of the Red Cross,” Durbin said.

To learn more about how you can help, please visit www.redcross.org.

Advertisements

Tornado Response in Carteret County

Melvin Hoard thanks Red Cross CEO Bill Brent for the support he received after his house was destroyed by a tornado.

Melvin Hoard thanks Red Cross CEO Bill Brent for the support he received after his house was destroyed by a tornado.

The American Red Cross has been providing assistance to residents of Carteret County whose homes were damaged or destroyed by severe storms and tornadoes that hit the area on November 26, less than two days before Thanksgiving.  Caseworkers met individually with each of the 16 families to determine their immediate emergency needs and provided shelter, clothing, food, minor medical care, supplies, and emotional support.

Melvin Hoard, a resident of Atlantic Beach, received support from the Red Cross after the tornado ripped the roof of his home.  Hoard sustained some minor injuries and said he is lucky to be alive.

“I just can’t tell you how much the support of the Red Cross has meant to me and my neighbors,” said Hoard

IMG_20131130_130028_475

Volunteers canvassed neighborhoods affected by the severe storms and tornadoes to hand out disaster preparedness and response information and inform them of Red Cross services.

Teams of disaster workers canvassed the damaged areas following the storms to make sure people had access to the Red Cross services and information about preparing for and responding to emergencies.

After experiencing what it is like to survive a tornado, Hoard tells others about the importance of heeding storm warnings. “”If you hear a warning or a watch, treat it like it’s knocking at your front door,” advises Hoard.

American Red Cross disaster preparedness starts long before storms hit the area, beginning with keeping supplies and equipment on stand-by all year to help people in need. People are encouraged to take preparedness in their own hands by downloading Red Cross preparedness apps for mobile devices or visiting redcross.org/prepare to create a personal preparedness plan.

The Red Cross has been meeting with fellow community partners to help facilitate long term housing solutions for the families that remain homeless.  Hoard and other tornado victims are grateful for the outpouring of support from local organizations and community members.

“When I get back on my feet; I want to do something to help the Red Cross the same way they have helped me,” said Hoard.

IMG_20131130_102851_802

Volunteers Sonia Johnson (left) and Lanikai Morbley load up supplies to take to residents affected by the tornado.

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free and made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. A financial gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.

To make a donation to the Red Cross visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.