Ismael Palma’s day started like any other day, he got up in the morning and walked outside his house to work on his yard. Palma was standing on his patio when he looked up to see his neighbor’s fence blown over by the wind. The sudden hit of wind and hail sent him running inside while glass flew around. His wife was standing in the hallway, and Palma found himself in the living room surrounded by flying glass. Before he could decide the safest place to shelter, the tornado was over, in the blink of an eye.

Brittney Rochell shows Ismael what is in a cleanup kit

Palma navigated into the hall to check on his wife, when he noticed the front door, along with the frame, was completely gone. As he finally reached his wife, they looked at each other scared and unsure if the tornado had passed, so they ran into the bathroom to take cover. Once they knew the storm was finally over and they felt safe, they went outside to see what the tornado had done to their home. When they saw glass and water everywhere, they knew that they would not be able to stay in their home but were thankful to have not been hurt by the sudden natural disaster.

“We are just blessed we didn’t get hurt,” said Ismael Palma. “Things happen, and we never know whether we will be here tomorrow; in the blink of an eye, we can be gone.”

As Palma picked up brick and siding from his front yard, he was very grateful to see the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle drive by his home and offer him not only a cleanup kit but also a shovel and other supplies to help him start to rebuild.

“I am very grateful for the help the Red Cross Offers, knowing that I can count on them to help us get back on our feet means the world to me,” said Palma.

Volunteers from across the world have shown up to assist in cleaning and helping families impacted like the Palma’s. Just like these volunteers you too can help by donating your time or money to support the American Red Cross’s mission of alleviating human suffering in the face of disasters. Please sign up to be a volunteer in your local community by going to To help those affected by these tornadoes you can also make a donation at and select your local Red Cross. 

Story By: Kyndal Dugger