Local Red Cross volunteers assisting in tornado ravaged Dayton area

DAYTON, Ohio -- Red Cross volunteers from northeast Ohio are lending a hand in the tornado ravaged Dayton area, helping figure out what is needed and who needs it.

Pamela Williams is from Akron and says right now, the Red Cross is still assessing the damage and the need in the area.

Williams is among numerous volunteers responding following what is being termed a tornado outbreak . A total of 16 tornadoes popped up in the area, carving out a path of destruction killing one and injuring dozens more.

She said there is debris everywhere, but the roadways have mostly been cleared.

The initial needs are food and shelter, which is the focus is right now. Williams said they had more than 130 people staying in shelters and expect that number to grow.

She also said water is still a big issue, as the pump system took a big hit.

While there are many physical needs, Williams says they are also addressing the emotional needs of tornado victims as well, saying many are in shock.

"People are dealing with the physical loss and also it's an emotional loss for them. It's an emotional strain. So what the Red Cross is doing is providing counseling. We have mental health workers that are on site and will be on site to help these folks get through the issues they can't physically see or fix with a hot meal or a case of water," she told FOX 8.

Williams said some of the most common questions they get are, "How can I help? What should I send?"

She said right now, if you send something they cannot guarantee that it will be used. She explained the best thing to do is donate money, that way the Red Cross can take that money and use it for whatever the need is at the time.

Continuing coverage, here.

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