Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joplin, Missouri Tornado: How Can You Help?

The 2011 Joplin tornado was a multiple-vortex tornado which struck Joplin, Missouri at 5:41 p.m. CDT May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak and was an estimated 0.75 miles wide when it struck the city. As of May 2011 it was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947. According to the National Weather Service, emergency managers reported damage to 75% of Joplin. Communications were lost in the community and power was knocked out to many areas. The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency confirmed that at least 119 people were killed and more than 1,150 were injured in Joplin, a number that is likely to rise. Here are a few ways you can help:

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency is providing details on donating and volunteering to help Missourians recover and rebuild. Health professionals interested in volunteering are asked to sign up on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Show-Me Response website.

The American Red Cross has opened shelters in Missouri and Minnesota. The shelter in Joplin is located at Missouri Southern State University, and the Red Cross is working to provide transportation to the shelter for those in need. The Red Cross is also distributing food, cleanup supplies and comfort kits, and sending health workers to provide immediate care. Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or visit the website to donate, give blood or volunteer.

AmeriCares has sent disaster-relief personnel to Joplin, and it's working with Access Family Care Clinic to help victims.Donations to AmeriCares can be made online or by phone at 1-800-486-HELP.The disaster-response team with Convoy of Hope is heading to Joplin with a truckload of water, snacks and ready-to-eat meals. Those wanting to help can text the word "CONVOY" to 50555 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate online or by calling 1-417-823-8998.

The Heart of Missouri United Way has established the Tornado Relief Fund to help victims.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this disaster. Do you have any examples of Girl Scouts helping communities following the tornadoes?