(Moore, OK) On a day with occasional severe thunderstorms and flash flooding, volunteers with the Mid-South Red Cross chapter helped victims of the Moore tornado with food, clothing and medical assistance.
“It’s just a challenge to get organized, and to get to the right places, to get people the things they need and get them where they need them,” said Peggy Young, from Memphis.
Young, Linda Bomes, and Janelle Wynn were assigned to an aid station at a Target near the worst-hit area.
Early-morning thunderstorms and flooding also made it difficult for helpers and victims to move around the city.
Matthew Shumate, a volunteer from the Jackson Red Cross chapter, helped coordinate the loading and unloading of emergency response vehicles.
He and the main Red Cross team were stationed at the First Baptist Church of Moore, where food was cooked, loaded and sent out in mobile feeding units.
“Hot meals, sometimes they do hamburgers, sometimes Salisbury steak, stuff like that,” said Shumate.
Shumate and Bomes are veterans at deployment to disaster zones, but the sight of the torando-ravaged neighborhoods this time around was even a lot for them to take in.
“A lot of them were looking for financial assistance, because they haven’t worked in several days,” said Janelle Wynn. “This really could be anywhere. This could be any city, where we live. And we would people to help and donate also, if we were in the same situation.”
All volunteers were impressed with the tremendous generosity of people in the Oklahoma area. At one point, Red Cross was not accepting more supplies or clothing until Thursday.
But the cost of providing these meals, filling the vehicles with fuel, and providing medical assistance grows by the day with long-term disaster relief.
The Mid-South volunteers ask everyone to chip in and contribute to the Red Cross.
“Any part of Shelby County could get hit with a tornado like this. If it happens to you, we’re still going to be there. If it happens to you, I want to see the Mid-South step up,” Bomes said.
Their deployment is for two weeks but could be extended based on need.