Boots on the ground

Fulton resident deploys to help Peoria recover months after deadly tornado

Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast with the Associated Press

Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast with the Associated Press

For disaster relief, the Red Cross sees most of its support pour in during the immediate aftermath.

But oftentimes it’s months after an event that those affected need the most help. As the sirens die down and the sky clears, people whose homes were damaged or destroyed still need help with insurance adjusters, deductible payments, transportation and work clothing and supplies.

That’s why Fulton resident Kath Mayne has spent the past few weeks in Peoria, Ill. Mayne deployed with the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri chapter to provide follow-up support for the community wracked by a major tornado in November 2013.

The former college professor volunteered to go and do ground-level one-on-one assistance with people still recovering from the storm, part of a large storm that triggered several tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana and sent 31 people to Peoria’s St. Francis Medical Center, according to media reports.

“One of the things that people don’t seem to know about the Red Cross is that we do quite a lot of long-term recovery, at least when we have the funds available,” Mayne said. “Even with local fires, we’re often helping those people months and months later.”

Mayne left Jan. 27 with plans to spend three weeks in Peoria helping people meet deductibles for insurance claims, arranging transportation assistance for people who had to relocate further from work or school or replacing work clothes, equipment and personal items to help people get back into their daily routines that were interrupted when a major tornado system tore through the area, killing three in the county.

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