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CLEVELAND (WJW) – As the death toll from Friday’s devastating outbreak of tornadoes across multiple states continues to rise, help has arrived from Ohio in some of the hardest hit areas and more help may be on the way soon.

Forty-five members of the Ohio Task Force One USAR team arrived in Graves County Kentucky early Monday and very quickly thereafter they were given their first assignment doing what they call “wide area searching.”

“The first main function obviously is search and rescue,” said Phil Sinewe, the spokesperson for Task Force One.

The Ohio team is one of the Federal Emergency Management Agencies urban search and rescue teams. Sinewe said he would have no contact with the team until 12 hours after their arrival, but their mission is one that is very familiar.

“They are going down the streets in these residential places, they have been given a sector to search. They are basically checking every structure to make sure everyone is confirmed to have gone out of this house so they are doing what we would call classic search and rescue on structures,” said Sinewe.

Among their other tasks will be to record and report the number and location of damaged structures. The Ohio team was joined by similar teams from Missouri and Tennessee. Their presence was welcomed by local victims and local rescuers who are also victims themselves.

“No. 1, they are fresh bodies, you know the people in Kentucky are tired at this point,” Sinewe said. “No. 2, they are distant from it so they are not worried about their families they are not worried about their neighbors they can focus on the job at hand.”

They will also be interacting with local victims, assessing and reporting their needs.

“It’s been roughly two days, a lot of these people are still lost and they are kind of standing in their front yards saying, ‘What do we do? I don’t have any water, I don’t have this,’ and so they are able to give them some basic supplies, but also they are able to feed that information back to the local government and say we have 10 families in this place that need this this and this,” said Sinewe.

Among the agencies that are ready, willing and able to offer additional assistance is the American Red Cross. At the Cleveland Chapter of the Red Cross on Monday the expectation is that volunteers would be heading to the hard-hit areas to offer help as soon as Tuesday.

“Yeah, it’s something that all of us look forward to doing because when people are suffering you want to help them,” said Tom Revolinsky, the Red Cross Disaster Program Manager in Cleveland.

Revolinsky has personally responded to other major natural disasters. He expects to travel to wherever he and others are needed to help feed meals to victims from his Emergency Response Vehicle. The Red Cross also stands ready to help in numerous other ways.

“Probably the most visible duty of the Red Cross during large scale disasters like this is operating shelters, helping with shelter operations,” said Red Cross spokesperson Jim McIntyre.

The Red Cross says victims will have needs for a very long time. And that while many people want to help by making donations, the agency says they don’t have the storage or the ability to transport large amounts of material goods.

Instead, the Red cross requests anyone who would like to help them in their relief efforts should make monetary donations, which can be used to fill the specific needs of victims in the areas they are serving.

Donations to the Red Cross can be made right here.