There are tragic reports coming out this morning that 91 people are dead because of yesterday’s massive tornado. Unfortunately, today’s not shaping up to be a tornado-free day for parts of Texas, Arkansas, and southern Oklahoma. Google set up a crisis map for the area where you can view the path of devastation and get information.
If you’re aching to help, here is what we’re being told are critical items:
- Money – several organizations are prepared to help and will accept financial donations, but please userespectable and reputable relief organizations:
- American Red Cross – text REDCROSS to 90999 and you can send $10 via phone, or donate online or by telephone at 1-800-RED-CROSS
- Salvation Army – Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
- Mercury One – 100% of all donations go to relief efforts for the 2013 tornados. Show support by donating online
- United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund – donations may be made online or by mail to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with notation for May Tornado Relief
- Pet Food Pantry of OKC – offers dog food, cat food, leashes, collars, food bowls, etc to those in need. (405) 664-2858 or online
- Food – non-perishable food items are being accepted by all relief organizations
- Baby/Toddler Items – diapers, formula, bottles, etc. are greatly needed
- Humanitarian Supplies – toiletries and similar supplies
- Water and Gatorade – cases of bottled water and Gatorade are critically important for rescue workers, especially as the heat rises
- Work Gloves
- Hand Sanitizer
- Individually wrapped snacks
- Baby Wipes
- Hand Towels
We have been asked not to donate clothing at this time, and also not to impede the efforts of rescue crews by going into the area. I know many churches and other organizations are getting crews on stand-by to send volunteers when it’s time.
If you have friends, family, or loved ones in the effected areas, text, rather than call, them for the time being. Cell phone service is almost non-existent in the area, and telephone services is sketchy. Also, encourage them to check in at the American Red Cross’s “Safe and Well” site.
I will keep you posted as more information comes.