Providing Help and Hope After Disaster: One Year Ago, Six Months Ago and Today

A Letter from Marty McKellips, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Central Texas Region

Dear Friends of the Red Cross,

Today marks the six month anniversary of the deadly Halloween floods in Austin. We have just passed the one year anniversary of the tragic fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.  Today the American Red Cross is deeply involved in assisting people in Midwestern and Southern states begin their recovery from devastating storms and tornadoes.  During each of these disasters the Red Cross has supplied food, water, shelter, medications, mental health assistance and hope.

The support of our entire community is what has made this assistance possible.  Even as we continue to work in all these communities, I wanted to update you on how your support is being used to help families survive and recover.  Below are reports about Red Cross services and programs in all three of these disasters.  I have included the story of one flood victim, Viola Brown.  Ms. Brown is a great example of an extremely resilient person who just needed a little boost from the Red Cross.  Your help gave her that boost.

I invite you to read these stories to appreciate how much you have helped people on their very worst day.  From the bottom of my heart,  thank you for making these stories possible.  If you are moved to support us now as we work with the victims of spring storms and tornadoes,  visit or call us at (512) 929-4271.

Central Texas Halloween Floods: Six Months Later Mental Health Visit

In the 6 months since record rainfall caused flash flooding in the early morning hours of Halloween, more than 1,200 have begun rebuilding their lives after their homes were damaged or destroyed by the flood waters. American Red Cross responders and caring Central Texans sprang into action and worked tirelessly to help families touched by the disaster get back on their feet.

Today, six months after the flood waters began rising Halloween morning, the American Red Cross is a partner in long range recovery efforts and continues to provide services for some affected families. The Red Cross is also working with community groups and officials to strengthen the resilience of affected communities and Central Texans generally. We say thank you to everyone who participated in or donated to our response efforts!

Your support came at a critical time for the American Red Cross of Central Texas and helped disaster clients like Viola Brown, whose home was devastated by the 2013 Halloween floods. Your support has made a difference! Your generosity tells our families that someone believes in them, someone they might not even know and that is powerful. You are moving the Red Cross mission forward, thank you!


Spotlight: A Story of Survival


Response by the NumbersATXFloods_CleanUp

The American Red Cross gave shelter, food, water, relief supplies and other support to families-thanks to the generosity of our donors:

  • Served 101,514 meals and snacks
  • Handed out 14,153 relief items
  • Mobilized 328 workers
  • Provided 1,608 health and mental contacts


One Year Update: West, Texas Fertilizer Plant ExplosionMark Felton in front of Apartments

One year ago, an explosion at a fertilizer plant devastated the close-knit community of West, Texas. Known for its deep Texas roots and Czech heritage, the town of West has proven its resilience and strength as the residents heal and rebuild after experiencing the unthinkable. Please click here for the West One Year Report.


Spring Storms:  Red Cross is on the Ground

The Red Cross has opened and supported shelters in seven states.  As weather permits the Red Cross is distributing snacks and relief supplies in the impacted communities.  Two Emergency response vehicles  from the Central Texas Region have been sent to help with this distribution.  Trained mental health volunteers are being deployed from across the United States to provide mental health and emotional support for those who have lost so much.  Preparedness messages are being sent throughout the regions where additional storms are predicted for the coming hours and days.  We will stay with these communities as they begin the long road back to recovery.

Again, thank you for making all of this possible.  Without you, the Red Cross could not fulfill our humanitarian mission.





Providing Help and Hope After Disaster: One Year Ago, Six Months Ago and Today

One thought on “Providing Help and Hope After Disaster: One Year Ago, Six Months Ago and Today

  1. We all wish these storms would dump their water northwest of Austin; but the Red Cross did a great job of helping the people who suffered from the flooding. Well done.

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