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When disaster strikes, American Red Cross is there to help

The disaster action team is always ready to respond, but there are also additional ways you can protect and keep yourself and loved ones safe.

BRYAN, Texas — When disaster strikes, American Red Cross works hard to be one of the first-responders on the scene to help. The disaster action team is always ready to respond, but there are also additional ways you can protect and keep yourself and loved ones safe.

"The thing is to really think about the first few moments of that is going to happen should a tornado hit. So, wherever your living situation is, think about what could be affected in a high wind situation, whether it's pot plants, the animals out in the yard, your windows, things hanging, your cars.. and also, the electrical outages, thinking ahead, what will you need in an emergency situation, whether it's a tornado or a fire situation, you have to get to shelter quickly," said Heart of Texas American Red Cross Executive Director AJ Renold.

The American Red Cross advises you have a plan in place, whether it's staying in your home or going to a shelter.

" We have apps, so there's actually a tornado app, there's a fire app, there's a hurricane app, that will walk you through all the steps you need to take. It's really easy to download on your phone actually, and it can track you. You can submit  your location and it can notify you of  services that are available in the area where you are, and how to access those services. Watching the news is a big one, I really really encourage students what we work with, our volunteers, to watch the local news. It's really important to stay aware about what's going on in your community, but also that's where you get a lot of your alerts and resources as well," said Renold.

Once the Red Cross receives calls about a disaster, the volunteers will drive out with necessary resources and help.

"During a tornado, they not only help with clean-up, but they have mental health services that you can access. They have a nursing volunteer, and they'll be assigned to a case worker that will help them navigate through the next few days, whatever they need,' said Renold.

These volunteers gather information on the affected people and also help them financially to provide whatever they immediately need.

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