Local efforts under way to help Okla. tornado victims
by Michelle Babcock
mbabcock@cherokeetribune.com
May 29, 2013 10:09 PM | 1335 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The recent tornado that devastated areas of Oklahoma resulted in many local organizations mobilizing to help. The Canton Rotary club announced they would send funds to their Rotarian partners in Moore, Okla., and local churches have stepped up to help, gathering supplies and monetary donations for victims.

An official from Revolution Church in Canton said they sent a truck filled with supplies to Oklahoma last week, and head of disaster relief for the First Baptist Church of Woodstock Al McMillan said their disaster relief ministry team is in the process of applying for and identifying three separate weeks to travel to Oklahoma to assist in relief efforts.

“We have not locked in those weeks because everybody is trying to schedule teams coming in and out,” McMillan said.

McMillan said the church is also supporting the Southern Baptist Convention disaster relief ministry and the Samaritan’s Purse ministry with monetary donations. Anyone can donate to the SBC ministry by visiting its website at www.okdisasterhelp.com/donate/ or at www.namb.net/dr/. All proceeds will go towards relief efforts.

“We try to shy away from collection, because everything changes and by the time you get out there with whatever you thought you needed, that changes, so we’re just asking people to pray for the people, pray for the people who have been left behind and the people who were affected,” McMillan said. “If they feel like they would like to give, they can give through any of their churches, of course.”

There are outlets available online for donating to the relief efforts in Oklahoma, including the Tulsa Community Foundation at tulsacf.org, the United Way of Central Oklahoma at http://www.unitedway okc.org/, the American Red Cross at http://www. redcross.org/, the Salvation Army at https://donate.salv ationarmyusa.org/uss/eds/ aok and the Moore and Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund at www.TulsaCF.org.

Georgia is at the tail end of tornado season, which lasts from March through May, but tornadoes can strike any time and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency urges families to be prepared.

Here are some tips from the GEMA Ready Georgia campaign on how to prepare for tornadoes:

Prepare

• Understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

• Know in advance where you will take shelter if a warning is issued.

• Prepare a kit with emergency supplies, first aid kit, NOAA weather radio and three days of food and water.

Plan

• If authorities issue a tornado warning or you see a funnel cloud, immediately take shelter.

• Basements and storm cellars offer the best protection.

• If no underground shelter is available, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest possible floor.

• If in a high-rise building, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest possible floor.

• Avoid windows, doors and exterior walls, stay in the center of the room and stay away from corners, which attract debris.

• Vehicles and mobile homes do not provide good protection, if possible try to quickly go to a building with a strong foundation.

• If no shelter is available, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area, not under an overpass or bridge.

• Stay sheltered until the danger has passed.

Stay informed

• Listen to NOAA weather radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check online often for official news updates and instructions as they become available.

• If tornado damage occurs, stay out of damaged buildings and away from downed power lines.

• Help injured or trapped people.

• Check on people who may need special assistance such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities.
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