SEMINOLE, Okla. (KFOR) – While residents in Seminole are cleaning up after a large tornado destroyed part of the community, the Red Cross is there to help.

The Red Cross opened a shelter at the Kelly Haney Center at Seminole State College shortly after the tornado touched down in Seminole.

Officials say 15 people stayed at the shelter overnight, but they expect that number to grow on Thursday as it becomes safer for residents to travel.

“Utility crews have been hard at work to restore service in the area, but getting power restored at the shelter has been a challenge with widespread outages and sites like hospitals and long term care facilities also needing electricity for basic operations. We recently lost running water at the Haney Center as well and are looking for an alternative site if it is needed,” an update from the Red Cross read.

If you are heading to a shelter, the Red Cross says you should bring personal items for each member of your family like:

  • Prescription medication
  • Emergency medication
  • Extra clothing
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Important documents
  • Other comfort items.

Officials stress you should not forget items for children like diapers, formula, and toys.

You should only return home when authorities say it is safe to do so. Residents are also warned to stay out of damaged buildings and to watch for fallen power lines or broken gas lines.

In addition to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army sent two mobile units to Seminole to provide meals, snacks and water to those in need.

Anyone in need of assistance should call 1-800-RED-CROSS.