May 20, 2013

CWS readying to respond to massive Oklahoma tornado disaster

Alertnet: May 2013 storm in Kansas
The funnel of a tornadic thunderstorm almost touches the ground near South Haven, Kansas, on May 19, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Gene Blevins, courtesy www.alertnet.org

NEW YORK – Disaster relief and recovery agency Church World Service has announced that it will respond to the extensive damage caused by this afternoon’s tornadoes in the Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla. area, including provision of emergency supplies as needed.

Whole neighborhoods have been decimated in the path of a massive EF-4 tornado initially estimated to have been a mile wide with winds over 200 miles an hour.

CWS Associate Director for Domestic Response Barry Shade, who is currently in areas now under tornado watch, said CWS will announce more details about its planned response in the coming days.

"We have worked extensively in communities struck by tornadoes in the region," says Donna Derr, the agency's chief of emergencies. "Our job is to provide immediate assistance with CWS Kits, and focus on helping the most vulnerable, who typically have the hardest time recovering in the long term."

HOW TO HELP

Contributions may be made online, sent to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (Ref: Central U.S. Tornadoes, #647-1), or  call 800-297-1516.