How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Within hours after the devastating tornado ripped of the suburb of Oklahoma City and took lives of more than 51 people, relief organizations were getting out the message on how to help.

The rising death toll and stunning devastation in Oklahoma City suburbs after a heavy tornado hit the area are heart-wrenching. Photo: Bicycle Media Brigade Photography Division/Flickr

Relief organizations delivered a message on how to help victims of the devastating tornado which hit the area on Monday evening.

The Red Cross has set up shelters in various communities. The organization asks everybody who can help victims of the disaster and to donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund, and the organization also suggests giving blood at your local hospital or blood bank.

It’s also possible to donate money by reaching the number 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095, or  to send a $10 donation via message REDCROSS to 90999.  You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way.

Oklahoma Babtist Disaster relief promises that donations will “go straight to help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters.”

It is requesting monetary donations, except clothing. For more information, and to donate, visit Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief’s website.

Those who want to help can send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.

Supporters can donate online via the SalvationArmyUSA.org, or simply text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone.

There’s also an opportunity to send a check, with the words “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.

“Financial contributions are the best way to help unless otherwise requested,” says United Way of Central Oklahoma, a fund, activated as of May 21 so that individuals can specifically donated to tornado relief-and-recovery efforts.

Donations may be made online here. Checks, with a notation of “May Tornado Relief” can also be sent to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK , 73101.

Feeding America, whose mission is to “feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks,” says it will deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to communities in need, in the suffered area, and will also “set up additional emergency food and supply distribution sites as they are needed.” You can donate online here.

For further information call 1-800-910-5524.

The international relief group, Operation USA, says it is “readying essential material aid — emergency, shelter and cleaning supplies” to help Oklahoma’s community health organizations and schools recover.

You can donate online here. You can also give a $10 donation by texting the word AID to 50555. Checks should be sent to: Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

The massive tornado ripped through the region leaving at least 51 people, including 20 children. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area in the region and ordered federal and local service to do their best in helping people after the deadliest U.S. tornado since one killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago.

Emergency groups were searching the wreckage of Plaza Towers Elementary School that took a direct hit from the disaster on Monday afternoon, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb told reporters.

Fire, rescue and emergency medical teams from across the state converged on Moore, reports Terri Watkins, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

“They are going to going to go house to house, building to building to determine whether anyone is trapped,”Ms Watkins said.

The National Weather Service assigned the tornado a preliminary ranking of EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning the second most powerful category of twists.

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