BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Monday night marks one week since a deadly tornado ripped through Brunswick County, and recovery efforts continue.
James Jarvis, executive director of the Cape Fear Area American Red Cross says the organization is maintaining a presence in Brunswick County, continuing to focus on tornado victims.
“We dispatched our disaster mental health teams into the field over the weekend,” Jarvis said. “We met with 15 families in the Ocean Ridge Plantation area and then another seven families off of Old Shallotte Road.”
Jarvis says the mental health teams consist of licensed psychologists that help victims process what they’ve been through.
“Obviously a tornado, something like this happens so unexpectedly,” he said. “A lot of people are obviously in shock and so we’re trying to help them think they’re okay.”
The Red Cross opened new cases with five more households on Monday, handling a total of 13 cases.
“We’re working very closely with them trying to help them plan next steps,” Jarvis said. “We’re able to offer them financial assistance to help them with some of their displacement costs.”
Jarvis says the Red Cross is also working with the Ocean Ridge Plantation HOA and the St. Luke Lutheran Church to help field and collect donations.
“We are looking for some donated housing potentially for some of the families that lost loved ones, but generally speaking, from what I gather, most people’s housing needs have been met,” he said.
Jarvis says even if you don’t have money or supplies to donate, there are still ways you can help the victims.
“You know, just look for small acts of kindness that you can do to look out for one another as we collectively as a community try to get through this,” he said.
Jarvis adds the the Red Cross is in need of blood donations, losing about 21,000 expected pints of blood due to severe weather around the country.
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting Tuesday to address public safety concerns related to tornado debris.