Helping with disaster in the heartland

Story highlights

  • Oklahoma suffered a second day of devastating storms Monday
  • A massive tornado demolished much of Moore, Oklahoma, just outside of Oklahoma City
  • There are many fatalities and more expected as search and rescue continues
  • Several organizations have mobilized to help the survivors

Several days in a row, violent storms ripped through America's heartland with the most devastating hitting on Monday.

Much of Moore, Oklahoma, which is just outside of Oklahoma City, is now a devastated pile of rubble.

The rescue and recovery efforts continue and the clean up has begun after a massive tornado touched down Monday afternoon. CNN affiliate KFOR reported that at one time, the tornado was estimated to be at least 2 miles wide, and the National Weather Service said the tornado was an EF5, the most severe rating for a tornado on the scale.

It is clear the days ahead are grave for the people of Oklahoma and the need for help will be immense.

There are several organizations already mobilizing on the ground in Moore, and you can help as well through these groups:

Emergency care:

The Red Cross

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    The Red Cross of Oklahoma has activated its "safe and well" website for those who are trying to reconnect with loved ones. Red Cross officials and volunteers are also beginning to open shelters. There are a handful open now and this map provides location information. You can help their efforts by donating to the Red Cross online or by texting REDCROSS to 90999. This will automatically charge $10.00 to your cell phone bill. In addition to shelter and emergency care, the Red Cross is also providing hot meals to those affected. They are operating fixed feeding sites at the Little Axe Resource Center Carney Oklahoma Senior Center and in Shawnee at the Shawnee Expo Center located at 1700 W. Independence, Shawnee, Oklahoma, 74804.

    If you are outside of the U.S. and wish to contribute to the efforts of the Red Cross, please visit their international partner International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.

    Samaritan's Purse

    Samaritan's Purse deployed a group of staff members to travel from its North Carolina headquarters to head to Oklahoma with a Disaster Relief Unit. The unit is a tractor trailer stocked with emergency supplies and equipment.

    AmeriCares

    Global health and disaster relief nonprofit AmeriCares has an emergency response team helping in Oklahoma. They will coordinate aid deliveries and assess the needs of survivors and medical organizations in the area.

    Team Rubicon

    Team Rubicon, a group of military veterans who respond to disaster, have issued the call to members and is heading to the region. By Tuesday morning, initial assessment teams will be on the ground, and they will then mobilize a full response to help the people affected by these storms.

    Food and Shelter

    The Salvation Army

    The Salvation Army has also jumped into action. It's in multiple locations throughout cities in Oklahoma providing food, hydration and emotional support to first responders and storm survivors. You can contribute to the Salvation Army by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769), online on their website, by texting "STORM" to 80888 to make an automatic $10 donation or by mail:

    The Salvation Army
    PO Box 12600
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73157

    Feeding America

    Feeding America is responding by providing food, water and supplies to the residents of the devastated towns in Oklahoma. The group will continue to assess the need on the ground for more assistance as recovery efforts continue.

    World Vision

    World Vision has a team headed into the disaster zone with emergency food kits, blankets, cleaning supplies, hygiene items and tarps. Once the team arrives, they will assess the needs and respond accordingly.

    Feed the Children

    Feed the Children has also mobilized and are sending supplies to families and children in need in Oklahoma. You can also help their efforts by making a monetary donation.

    Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

    The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, in partnership with Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), is asking that the public support all rescue, recovery and disaster relief efforts by making cash donations. Donations of items such as clothing and supplies are strongly discouraged.

    Give blood

    The Oklahoma Blood Institute

    As the recovery efforts progress and more and more of the walking wounded are found the need for blood donations increases. Many of the injured will require blood to help in their recovery. The OBI team says they are particularly seeking O-negative and Rh-negative blood types. If you are local in Oklahoma you can donate here. Outside of the immediate area, please donate to your local blood bank which will help replenish the national supply. You can find your local center through the Red Cross.

    Heartbreaking scenes in Oklahoma City after the twister

    Help injured or displaced pets

    The Humane Society of Central Oklahoma

    The Oklahoma Humane Society is working with the city of Moore to assess and shelter animals affected by the storms. Many pets are displaced in violent storms like these and the Humane Society is dedicated to make sure these animals get the necessary immediate care they need. They ask now for monetary donations to help their efforts but will update their page with volunteer and in-kind donations as they get a better grasp on the supplies, food and medical assistance needs.