While Oklahoma first responders and National Guard members were searching through the rubble left by Monday’s devastating tornado, Wise County residents were already searching for ways to help. Jody Adams, director of the Decatur Economic Development Corporation and a trained disaster volunteer, said individuals are being asked not to just show up and volunteer to help.
“I’ll bet it’s at least four or five days before you can even get in there,” he said. “The residents aren’t even being allowed back in at this time.”
Adams said his group, SGSO (Serving God by Serving Others) will likely go in for the cleanup operations once all the victims have been recovered. Trained groups of volunteers are usually allowed in only after a disaster area is opened back up. Individuals and those who have not had disaster relief training are discouraged from just showing up to help.
For those with friends or loved ones in that area, officials were encouraging people to text rather than call, as most phone lines are at capacity or still down.
The Red Cross set up a “Safe and Well” program where those with loved ones in the affected areas may search for those who have listed themselves as “safe and well.” For more information on that program, visit www.safeandwell.org.
A reunification site was set up at St. Andrews Church, at the corner of SW 119th and S. May in Oklahoma City, and a triage center is in place at Warren Theater in Moore, the community hard-hit by the tornado.
Texas Congresswoman Kay Granger said those who are interested in making donation can contribute to several organizations that already have “boots on the ground” helping in the recovery effort:
News 9 Headquarters
Text FOOD to 32333 to donate $10 in storm relief
Accepting gloves, masks, toiletries, clothes & blankets (and other items) via mail to 7401 N. Kelley Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Text RED CROSS to 90999 to donate $10
To donate via phone, call 1-800-RED-CROS (1-800-733-2767). Please make sure to donate to “Disaster Relief.”
To donate online, visit www.RedCross.org. Please make sure to donate to “Disaster Relief.”
Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10
To donate online, visit www.salvationarmyokcac.org
Feed the Children
To donate online, visit www.feedthechildren.org/disaster
Oklahoma Southern Baptist Disaster Help
To donate online, visit www.okdisasterhelp.com