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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The days after a devastating natural disaster are often considered 72 hours of chaos.

But help is on the way for those affected by the deadly tornadoes that hit the Midwest and mid-South on Friday night.

Groups in Kansas City are already responding to the neighborhoods flattened by the historic storms.

Harvesters sent more than 39,000 pounds of product to two states on just Monday. The American Red Cross is sending 200 blood donations to hospitals, all during what leaders described as a historic blood shortage.

Both groups know help goes beyond a few days. They’re preparing to spend weeks if not months assisting in Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois and more.

“We’re just so thankful that we can help them and that we can be part of the relief effort going on in Kentucky and in Arkansas,” Harvesters COO Stephen Davis said. “This is just the beginning of an ongoing relief effort and collaboration.”

While both groups say financial donations are the best way to help natural disaster victims right now, the American Red Cross is also strongly encouraging people to donate blood — especially those with O-negative blood type.

“Right now we need all blood types, especially type O,” said Joe Zydlo with the American Red Cross. “O-negative blood is a universal blood type that can be transfused to anyone.”

But when it’s all said and done, the most important message these groups want to send to people in need is that Kansas City is there for them.

“We care about them, and that the country is here to help and that we’re willing to do what we can to help,” Davis said. “And right now the best way we can help is by resourcing those organizations that are physically helping in that area.”

If you’d like to help these organizations, visit the Red Cross of Missouri’s website here or Harvesters’ website here.