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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

"We'll get through this"

Updated: May 6

Jamie Calhoon is a collections team supervisor for the Red Cross Biomedical Services in the Nebraska-Iowa Region. She was at her home in Minden, Iowa, on the evening of April 26 with her two dogs when a tornado barreled through her neighborhood.


Jamie Calhoon's home in Minden, Iowa.

“The news was going crazy,” Calhoon said. “My daughter was on the phone with me. She lives about a mile outside of town, and she actually saw it . She just said to get in the basement.”


Calhoon and her dogs were able to seek shelter in her basement just in time. “You could feel the pressure and then the house started shaking and stuff was falling of the walls,” she said. “I was sort of under the steps. And then, just like that, it was gone.”


Calhoon, her family and her dogs were safe, but their lives changed that night. She found her home was still standing; but the roof was gone, and significant damage was everywhere. Her brother-in-law came to help her evacuate.


“The Red Cross came through,” Calhoon said. “I think they were there right away. They dropped off lots of tarps and cleaning supplies, which is what I really needed. It’s just amazing the people that come out and help.”

Jamie Calhoon's car under the rubble of her garage.

She will stay with her daughter during the disaster recovery process. Though the recovery process will be long, Calhoon is optimistic and grateful to her community and the Red Cross, where she’s worked for 16 years.


“I just can’t thank people enough for how kind they are,” she said. “I mean, you see it on the news, but you never think it’s going to happen to you. It’s really amazing, the kindness out there.”


She added, "We'll get through this."

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