Red Cross volunteers assisting Cape Cod tornado victims

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Volunteers with the American Red Cross are on Cape Cod Tuesday night after an EF-1 tornado moved through several communities.

The agency is helping with immediate needs, but there are a few things you can do well before disaster strikes. Trees toppled over, blocking roads, crashing onto vehicles and into homes, and utilities lines wiped out.

A tornado on the Cape is rare and the same can be said in western Massachusetts, but they do happen.

“You never know and I was surprised when it hit Springfield,” said Christine Davis of Chicopee. “It destroyed quite a bit in Springfield. That was a tragedy just like it’s a tragedy on Cape Cod.”

Eight years ago, on June 1, 2011, an EF-3 tornado tore through western Massachusetts. The twister carved a 40-mile path of destruction from Westfield to Charlton.

“It does happen. The weather pattern is changing. I believe that 100-percent,” said Linda Tanguay, Chicopee.

Three people were killed and there were also numerous injuries, including 300 people hurt in the city of Springfield alone.

When disaster strikes the American Red Cross deploys volunteers to assess damage and need for services. In fact, a Red Cross team is on the Cape right now meeting with families impacted.

The Red Cross also offers advice on disaster preparedness, like having a three-day emergency preparedness kit that includes food, water, a crank-powered flashlight, and first aid supplies.

“If the threat is there it’s better to have one than not because you don’t have air conditioning you know, you have nothing. And you’re refrigerator could be full of food. You know it’s good to have one,” Tanguay continued.

If you’d like to purchase a kit or make one yourself, the Red Cross has a helpful list of items on their website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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