American Red Cross Responds to Massachusetts Tornadoes

Thursday June 2, 2011- The American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter has disaster action team volunteers throughout the community assisting residents and first responders affected by Wednesday’s tornadoes that have killed four people and left at least 200 injured.

MassMutual Center in Springfield was set up as an emergency shelter for residents who were displaced. Nearly 400 residents sought refuge in the aftermath of the storm with nearly 200 staying overnight. Red Cross volunteers are providing food, beverage and emotional support. The shelter at the MassMutual Center will likely transition to a new location mid-day on Thursday.

Volunteers also managed a shelter which served 35 residents at the Quarry Hill School in Monson.

Red Cross was also available to provide support to other community shelters including the Birchland Park Middle School in East Longmeadow; the West Springfield Middle School and Converse Middle School in Palmer. More than 50 residents from area towns were served in the immediate aftermath. Support was also provided to nearly 300 emergency responders throughout the Pioneer Valley at the Command Center on Maple Street in Springfield; the Monson Emergency Management team; the West Springfield Emergency Operations Center and the State Police Barracks in Springfield. As of 4:30am more than 50 Pioneer Valley Chapter volunteers and newly recruited spontaneous volunteers had assisted area residents and emergency responders throughout the region providing food, shelter and emotional support. Disaster teams began damage assessment activities as well and will continue on Thursday.

“This has been an extraordinary response effort that we expect will continue for days to come,” said Paige Thayer, deputy director of chapter support for the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter. “We have a terrific team of volunteers who will continue to provide relief services to those in need.”

The Pioneer Valley Chapter has received outstanding support from local businesses helping with donations of food for our disaster response activities. You can help people affected by disasters as well as countless crises at home and around the world by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

To find out how your local Red Cross is helping the individuals affected by these disasters and how you can contribute your support, follow our blog ( and visit our website ( You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or click here for other ways to help. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.


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