Help is on the way for victims of three deadly tornadoes that hit several towns in eastern Oklahoma on Wednesday. On Thursday, international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse deployed disaster relief experts from its headquarters in North Carolina to help tornado victims with cleanup efforts.
After assessing the extent of the damage, the organization also dispatched a Disaster Relief Unit stocked with chainsaws, heavy-duty plastic tarps, generators, and other tools and supplies. This unit will serve as the relief team’s command post while assisting storm victims in Oklahoma.
“Our hearts go out to the families in Oklahoma who were impacted by these devastating storms,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “This community is still recovering from the tornado that destroyed Moore, Oklahoma, less than two years ago, and we want them to know that they are not alone in their time of need.”
Samaritan’s Purse will be working with local emergency officials and churches to determine where help is needed most. Volunteers will be assisting homeowners by removing fallen trees, cleaning up debris, salvaging personal belongings and tarping damaged roofs.
A team of chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Rapid Response Team has also been deployed to the disaster area. They will be working alongside Samaritan’s Purse to provide spiritual encouragement and support to victims and their families.
In May 2013, Samaritan’s Purse responded to tornadoes that wreaked havoc in several communities in Oklahoma. With the help of more than 4,000 volunteers, the organization completed 615 job requests from local victims in Moore and Shawnee. Samaritan’s Purse is still in Oklahoma rebuilding and repairing homes, and installing storm shelters to provide families with a way to stay safe, should another storm strike.
Volunteers are critical in an emergency response like this. For more information or to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, go to spvolunteernetwork.org. Donations to help tornado victims can be made at samaritanspurse.org.
Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization that has helped more than 29,000 families in 35 U.S. states following hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and ice storms. Last year when the country was plagued by tornadoes, Samaritan’s Purse provided aid to storm victims impacted by twisters that swept through the central and southern U.S., including Arkansas, Nebraska, Mississippi, Kansas and Alabama. The organization also helped flood victims in Florida.