How to help Moore, OK.
On May 20, 2013, a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma (pop 56,315). Analysis indicates EF-5 tornado damage, caused by winds of at least 166 mph. News media reports indicate significant, widespread damage. In times like these, the generosity and willingness of Americans to lend a hand truly shines. Below are some general tips on the best way that you can help:
-Cash Donations: The best way to help is to donate cash to a recognized disaster relief organization. The Aidmatrix Disaster Relief Fund is working with the State of Oklahoma Emergency Services and the State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to direct funding to the what is most needed by the community. You can donate online here. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster also has a list of trusted organizations that you can feel confident in making a donation to. Be wary of unsolicited requests for donations and be sure to do your homework on any organization that you don't know before you donate money.
-Give Blood: The need for blood rises during disasters of this scale. You can locate information about donating through the American Red Cross or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
-DO NOT gather and send bottled water, food, used clothing or other items unless you have a specific request from a recognized disaster relief organization in the Moore area. The area does not have the capacity to organize and distribute truckloads of unsorted donated goods that have not been requested. Again, the best option is to donate cash to a recognized disaster relief organization. Since people often want to actively help out, you could gather used clothing or other items locally and have a community yard sale and then donate the earnings.
-DO NOT plan to go to the disaster site unless you are affiliated with a recognized disaster response agency (such as the American Red Cross or United Methodist Committee on Relief) that has been officially mobilized. The area already has the tornado victims to house and feed, and they will not be able to house and feed volunteers who just show up. This type of spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer puts an unnecessary strain on the limited resources in the area. If you are not currently affiliated with a disaster response agency, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster can connect you to a local chapter.
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