In Photos: Red Cross responds to Brainerd Lakes windstorm

Red Cross disaster relief workers have been on-the-ground in the Brainerd Lakes, Minnesota, area since a severe windstorm struck on July 12, 2015. Red Cross support currently includes providing water, ice and relief supplies to families and clean-up crews, and assessing damage of neighborhoods. The Red Cross continues to coordinate its relief efforts with local and regional partners that are responding to the disaster.

The Red Cross, along with the Salvation Army and the local sheriff department, set up a relief station at Timberwood Church, just South of Nisswa. Red Cross support includes assessing damage of neighborhoods, providing water and relief supplies to affected families and others on-the-ground cleaning up, and coordinating with local and regional relief partners on the response efforts.
The American Red Cross, along with the Salvation Army and the local sheriff department, distributed water, ice, and other relief supplies from a shared field station at Timberwood Church, south of Nisswa, Minn., July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
The Red Cross provided water, ice and relief supplies at the relief station. Like many Red Cross volunteers, Gary Larson and Ken Vertin spent the day loading cases of water into vehicles.
Red Cross volunteers Gary Larson (l) and Ken Vertin (r) spent the day in Nisswa, Minn., loading cases of water into local residents’ vehicles on, July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
 Red Cross volunteer Connie Barsness carried bottled water to the car of a local resident who was still without running water. The power is expected to return to the area in the next few days, but until then, local residents will continue to rely on alternative water sources.
Red Cross volunteer Connie Barsness carried bottled water to the car of a local resident who has been without running water since the storm on Sunday. The power is expected to return to the area in the next few days, but until then, local residents will continue to rely on alternative water sources, July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
 Two Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are canvassing the hardest hit areas and bringing aid to those without power and cut-off from other resources by downed lines and trees.
Two Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are canvassing the hardest hit areas and bringing aid to those without power and cut-off from other resources by downed lines and trees, Gull Lake Dam Road, July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
The storm that ravaged the Brainerd Lakes area is being compared to a stage one hurricane. Debris littered the street, at times making it difficult for the ERV to get through.
The storm that ravaged the Brainerd Lakes area on Sunday, July 12, 2015, is being compared to a stage one hurricane by local officials. Debris littered the street, at times making it difficult for the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to get through to affected areas, Gull Lake area, July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteer Rick Campion distributes cold water to local residents Lloyd Baakkonen and Ronald Hines from the ERV.  “We heard your horn and came running,” said Baakkonen, who despite having a tree through his roof had a huge smile on his face. “There’s nothing better than cold water.”
Red Cross volunteer Rick Campion (l) distributed cold water to local residents Ronald Hines (c) and Lloyd Baakkonen (r) from a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV). “We heard your horn and came running,” said Baakkonen, who, despite having a tree through his roof, had a huge smile on his face. “There’s nothing better than cold water.” July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Lanet Hane/American Red Cross.
Hines then emphasized the importance of being prepared. “I had a generator in the basement that I’d never used it before, but figured it would come in handy if something bad were to happen,” he said. “I was right.” For more information on being prepared for different types of emergencies, click here.
Red Cross volunteers Rick Campion (l) and Vivian Engen (c) spoke with Ronald Hines (r), who was cleaning up following the windstorm. “I had a generator in the basement that I’d never used before, but figured it would come in handy if something bad were to happen,” Hines said. “I was right.” July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Lanet Hane/American Red Cross.
Many homes were hit hard by the storm. Amidst uprooted trees and debris, this family told the ERV crew that a tree went through their roof and their entire home will be torn down before the weekend is over because the damage was so extensive.
Many homes in the Brainerd Lakes area were hit hard by the storm on July 12, 2015. Amidst uprooted trees and debris, one family told Red Cross volunteers that a tree went through their roof. Their entire home will be torn down because the damage was so extensive. July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
To date, the Red Cross has distributed thousands of bottles of water and hundreds of pounds of ice to Brainerd Lakes area residents and work crews cleaning up in hot and humid conditions following the windstorm. July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
To date, the Red Cross has distributed thousands of bottles of water and hundreds of pounds of ice to Brainerd Lakes area residents and work crews cleaning up in hot and humid conditions following the windstorm. July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteer Rick Campion walked through an storm affected neighborhood  in the Brainerd Lakes area on July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteer Rick Campion walked through an storm affected neighborhood in the Brainerd Lakes area on July 15, 2015. Photo credit: Vivian Engen/American Red Cross.

What You Can Do: Download today the Red Cross Emergency App for real time access to weather alerts, preparedness information, safety tips and shelter locations. The Emergency App provides expert advice on what to do during and after, tornadoes, wildfires and other disasters. The app provides lifesaving information on emergency first aid for various situations such as what to do for heart attacks, heat-related emergencies and includes water safety tips. Pre-loaded content ensures that guidance from Red Cross experts is available anytime, anywhere – even without mobile connectivity.

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