PHOENIX -- Emergency supplies and volunteers from Arizona are heading to Oklahoma to help in the aftermath of the devastating and deadly tornado.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix prepared thousands of emergency food boxes and gathered over 60,000 bottles of water which will be loaded on trucks and sent to the disaster zone.
“We’re sending two truckloads with just drinking water, because there’s not a lot of potable water right now in the Oklahoma area, because so many of the pipes were damaged and so much of the water systems were affected,” said Jerry Brown of St. Mary’s. “Bottled water, important not only for the people devastated by this, but for the rescue workers.”
However, given the extent of the damage, it’s likely the supplies could be gone in days.
“When you’re talking about large scale, it’s not going to last very long,” said Brown. “It probably won’t be very long before we get a call for a second load. When you have devastation in this area, people are going to need help for quite awhile.”
Meanwhile, Debra Manley of the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter, arrived in Oklahoma Tuesday night. Manley used to live in Oklahoma City, and her sister still lives in Seminole, Okla.
“They’ve just been devastated several times,” said Manley, referring to past tornadoes such as the devastating twister of 1999. However, locals say this latest one is believed to be even worse.
Manley will work to help set up satellite and Internet communications so volunteers can more efficiently help residents affected.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Moore and additional shelters in the Oklahoma City area, according to a spokesman. Some 30 emergency response vehicles have also been deployed to distribute food, water and relief supplies.
“The Oklahomans are very resilient,” said Moore. “They’re strong, good hard working people. I think they’re going to pull together on this.”
If you would like to make a contribution to help those resilient Oklahomans, you can visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767). You also can text word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. That donation will appear on your next wireless bill.