Moore Oklahoma Tornados
As some of you may know, I work in Disaster Services for the American Red Cross. I also live (and work) directly in the line of storms that is going through. A few things about the Disaster Relief that is on going in Moore that may be helpful to those affected or those with family members that are affected.
1) The American Red Cross has three shelters open in Moore and is working on locating others; we continue to operate three shelters that were opened Sunday in the Oklahoma City area following the storms on Sunday. You can find the location and population of the Shelters in the Red Cross Shelter View app for smart phones or you can check the Red Cross in Oklahoma’s Facebook page. One of the Shelters, in the St. Andrew’s Church has a Reunification Center in it.
2) Red Cross volunteers are out tonight with food and supplies supporting first responders. More than 25 emergency response vehicles are positioned to move at first light Tuesday, and we expect that the number will increase. The Red Cross is also sending in kitchen support trailers to support the upcoming operation to provide meals to those forced out of their homes. Surrounding Chapters are preparing and gathering supplies to send in Tuesday morning.
3) Phone towers and switch boards are becoming overloaded with the numbers of calls coming in and out. If possible, try to send a text instead of a voice call. An even better option is an email. And don’t forget to check in on Safe and Well. Family/Friends of affected people, please check Safe and Well for status’ of affected people. Our Reunification Centers will be helping people check in on Safe and Well.
4) Instead of gathering clothing and other in-kind donations to send, considering donating monetarily to Relief Organizations (ie-Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Kitchens, ect) These agencies can do much more with money than with clothing or other in-kind donations. Logistically, its hard enough to get in with what supplies we already have, much less tons of in-kind donations. There are tons of ways to donate, from any of our apps, on redcross.org, texting redcross to 90999, calling 1-800-Red-Cross, or going directly to your local chapter in the morning.
5) If you’re interested in physically helping, contact your local Red Cross Chapter by going to redcross.org/(your state) and click the Volunteer tab. By going to the website and filling out an application, we can get you processed and into our system for deployments. You can do more good by going through the proper channels for relief operations (no matter what the organization you choose) than just hopping in your vehicle and trying to drive yourself there to help.
Just some thoughts to keep in mind, and as always keep the affected people and their families in your prayers.