Truckers gear up to assist Oklahoma tornado victims

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 5/21/2013

Truckers looking to help with aid and disaster relief following Monday’s deadly tornado in Moore, OK, have plenty of avenues to help.

Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service in Norman, OK, suggest that the storm was rated an EF-4 tornado, with peak winds at 190 miles per hour. The storm carved a 17-mile path of devastation through suburban Oklahoma City, blowing apart schools and neighborhoods, leaving a path of destruction as wide as two miles in some places.

As rescue workers continue to comb through the debris, relief agencies are scrambling to provide shelter, clothing, food and water to thousands of survivors.

Dan Case, president of the Oklahoma Trucking Association, said his organization has already arranged for the delivery of three loads of food from a food bank in Indiana.

“The main needs are diapers, water, food,” Case said in a phone interview with Land Line on Tuesday. “We’ve got several people here who will take truckloads of it. Otherwise, there’s not much we can do yet because we still can’t get into the (disaster) area. It’s pretty well cordoned off by the police.”

The suburban community of Moore, OK, was among the hardest-hit locations on the storm’s path. In 1999, Moore suffered a direct hit from an EF-5 tornado in which the highest wind speeds ever measured – 302 miles per hour – were recorded. Forty-one people died and more than $1 billion in damages resulted from that storm.

Case, a lifelong Oklahoman, said Monday’s tornado was “the biggest and most devastating one I’ve ever seen.”

“You no longer have a car, you no longer have a cellphone, you no longer have a home,” he said. “You’ve got the clothes on your back, and that’s it.”

The state medical examiner's office Tuesday reduced its reported death toll from Monday's storm from 51 to 24, noting confusion during the early aftermath of the disaster.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said 51 deaths were reported to the medical examiner during the early phases of recovery efforts Monday, but the bodies of only 24 deceased victims had come to the office by the end of the day. Four of the confirmed fatalities were from south Oklahoma City and 20 were from Moore, an Oklahoma City official said. At least 237 people were injured and sought medical treatment at local hospitals.

President Barack Obama has already declared the site a “major disaster” and dispatched urban search and rescue teams from Federal Emergency Management Agency to begin the search for survivors who may be trapped in the rubble.
The Daily Oklahoman newspaper is maintaining a list of agencies and businesses that are soliciting donations of everything from money and shelter, to clothing, blood, and personal care items. The complete list can be found at the newspaper’s website: The following is an excerpted list of relief agencies and donation dropoff points:
The Oklahoma Red Cross is asking people to donate by texting Red Cross to 90999, which will be a $10 donation, spokesman Ken Garcia said.

A shelter has also been opened at Saint Andrews Church, S.W. 119th and South May. The city of Oklahoma City is also using the location as a reunification site.

The National Red Cross will be moving in 20 response vehicles for feeding and distribution of relief items, spokesman Ken Garcia said. Trailers with additional supplies are also being mobilized.

The Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Division has dispatched disaster response teams.

Donations can be made to: The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. Designate Oklahoma Tornado Relief on all checks.

Donate by phone: 800-725-2769.

Donate online or text: You can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”*

Feed The Children is preparing emergency disaster relief supplies and will be accepting donations from the public on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the McCormick Distribution Center, 29 N. McCormick.

Items that will be accepted are diapers, canned goods, nonperishable food and snack items, water and sports drinks.

Feed The Children is coordinating with other organizations and authorities at the scene to deliver disaster supplies as requests are received.

Cash donations to help with relief efforts can be made by phone at 800-627-4556 or online.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, in partnership with Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is asking that the public support all rescue, recovery and disaster relief efforts with donations of cash to your favorite responding charity.

Donations of items such as clothing and supplies are strongly discouraged.

Financial donations will allow disaster relief agencies to purchase whatever items are deemed necessary without resulting in the additional burden of securing warehouse space and volunteers to work donated product.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, go online or call 405-604-7111 or text FOOD to 32333 to give $10 to relief efforts.

With Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief teams already responding to severe weather from Sunday in several locations, including Shawnee, Edmond and Little Axe, Oklahoma Baptists are assisting with recovery efforts from the tornado that hit Moore.

Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO’s Disaster Relief ministry online or by calling 405-942-3800.All monies go toward disaster relief and helping victims. For photos, information and updates, visit the Oklahoma Baptists’ blog at

Donors to the Oklahoma Blood Institute provide blood needed by patients in all metro-Oklahoma City hospitals and 140 others across the state.

Presently, the state’s blood supply is adequate to meet the needs of patients in all hospitals caring for victims of the Moore tornado. This is thanks to blood donors who have given in the past week.

Since there is no substitute for blood, the supply constantly needs to be replenished. Anyone 16 years or older and in good health can generally donate blood. Those with O-negative and Rh-negative blood types are most needed.

Locations of donor centers and mobile blood drives can be found at

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is asking that people who want to volunteer to help with disaster relief in the OKC-Moore area go to the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) website at

OKMRC is designed to bring together different healthcare-related organizations and members of the community, including physicians, nurses, public health workers, and other medical professionals. In addition, volunteers without a background in medical training are needed.

To volunteer, go online and click on “OKMRC Inquiry.”

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working through local United Methodist churches and trained disaster response workers to provide immediate relief, assistance with cleanup and rebuilding, pastoral counseling and support for children and youth who have been through trauma.

To donate or receive more information, go online.

Science Museum Oklahoma is serving as a dropoff point for relief donations. Citizens may donate bottled water, Gatorade-type sports drinks, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and canned foods at the museum box office during operating hours.

Science Museum Oklahoma is located at 2100 N.E. 52nd St. in Oklahoma City and is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.

Residents of Shawnee and Moore who were displaced by the tornadoes will be given free museum admission through Friday. For more information, call 405-602-6664 or visit

A domestic disaster relief team from Operation Blessing International, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, is en route to Moore with a construction unit, mobile command center, trucks full of tools and supplies and a team of construction foreman.

To donate to the relief effort or for updates, go online.

The international humanitarian relief organization has sent a team to Moore with supplies from its World Distribution Center in Springfield, MO.

To make a contribution, go online to Donate $10 via cell phone by texting the word CONVOY to 50555.

CrossPointe Church is opening up its community center to volunteers from other areas who are coming to help with relief efforts and need a place to stay. If you are sponsoring a group coming to help, call Brandy White at 405-329-5405 to make arrangements.

United Way of Central Oklahoma's Disaster Relief Fund is open. Donations may be made online, by phone at 405-236-844,1or by mail to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with notation for May Tornado Relief.

Funds will be distributed without administrative fees to United Way Partner Agencies working on the tornado relief efforts.

Contributions to the Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund can be made securely online at Donations can also be mailed to TCF offices at 7030 S. Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK, 74136.

Crossings Community Church, 2208 W. Hefner, is now a donation site for bottled water and energy/sports drinks; nonperishable items, including protein and granola bars, diapers and work gloves. Drop off items between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, financial donations can be made online at Sign in or create an account, select “missions” and then select “disaster relief fund” to send your donation directly to tornado relief.

Lakehoma Church of Christ, 2124 W. State Highway 152 in Mustang, will be accepting donations of rescue supplies and personal items from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. The donations collected will be donated to the American Red Cross. Requested items include water, Gatorade, blankets, pillows, shovels, gloves, non-perishable food items, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, diapers, shampoo, conditioner, baby food and body wash. People can also bring donations after 7 p.m. Wednesday. Donations will go to the Red Cross. For more information, call 405-376-2883.

Quail Springs Baptist Church, 14613 N. May, is requesting donations of water, Gatorade, wipes, individually wrapped snacks, hand sanitizer, diapers, baby formula, hand towels, work gloves and sunscreen. Items can be dropped off on the north side of the building. Checks can be made payable to QSBC Storm Relief. For more information, call 405-755-9240.

The Oklahoma City Ballet, 7421 N. Classen, is accepting donations of baby wipes, paper towels, gallons of water, individually wrapped snack and food items and work gloves. Dropoff hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Donations will also be accepted from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder. For more information, call 405-848-8637.

Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will have a trailer at Lowes, 2555 Hemphill Dr., in Norman, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday to take in donations of supplies for the tornado victims. They are asking for supplies that include trailer water, food, formula, hygiene items, etc. For more information, please contact Linda at Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity at 405-360-7868.

If anyone finds photographs lost from homes in the tornado, save them and spread the word. For information about preserving photos, go online to Operation Photo Rescue.

If you have a found item that you’d like to share, try posting it here:

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