Veteran team called upon to help provide sheltering as deadly weather continues

Four trained American Red Cross of Utah disaster volunteers and staff are heading to Texas and Arkansas today for a 14-day deployment offering sheltering assistance to those affected by widespread severe storms in the central United States. Red Cross disaster relief teams from across the nation are mobilizing to support evacuees in states slammed by storms this past weekend.

The holiday weekend brought the busiest severe weather day of the year so far, with 26 reported tornadoes across 10 states and more than 60 reports of strong wind or hail across some 20 states. Storms continue to move across Texas, knocking out power to more than half a million customers, during a time where many are also under the threat of triple-digit temperatures. “Our Red Cross of Utah volunteers are ready to help those in need as severe weather continues to cause damage,” said Michael Smauldon, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Northern Utah Chapter. “Their unwavering commitment to assisting others, not just locally but nationwide, is truly commendable. We take pride in our team’s readiness to lend a helping hand in times of need.”

The veteran team of Utah volunteers deploying to Texas includes Kathy Statler from Riverdale, who has been deployed 12 times with the Red Cross, Kirsti Dunn from North Ogden with 5 deployments and Itza Prieto, a Red Cross disaster staffer from St. George, going on her first deployment. Stacy Peterson from Spanish Fork, who has 2 deployments, is going to Arkansas for disaster relief.

Continued severe weather

Our local volunteers’ deployment is crucial due to their capacity to manage a shelter accommodating up to 100 people. With hundreds of thousands of people without power and hundreds of homes destroyed, the Red Cross is operating shelters to ensure everyone has a safe place to stay and access to meals, power and other essentials. The Red Cross has set up shelters in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky, after a pattern of storms stretching back weeks.

“As a Red Cross volunteer, responding to disasters to aid residents is more than a duty – it’s a calling, to be there for people when they need it most,” said Statler. “Knowing that our actions can bring comfort and hope to those affected drives us to stand with communities during their most challenging times.”

Join the team

After initial training, Red Cross disaster volunteers are prepared to respond to local emergencies, such as helping those displaced by home fires. They can provide immediate support either on-site or remotely. With experience and additional training, volunteers can deploy to major emergencies or disasters in Utah and across the country. Explore more opportunities at

Every day, individuals and families in our community rely on Red Cross volunteers for assistance. Volunteers help people affected by disasters, donate blood, teach lifesaving skills and support active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families. Discover the volunteer role that suits you best at

Support people affected by disasters
Make a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.