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There are things we can do to help

May 23, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

The images should chill anyone to the core.

What happened to Moore, Okla., when a massive tornado ripped through the city on Monday afternoon is unconscionable.

Imagine leaving for work in the morning, kissing your family goodbye, petting the dog and heading off for the day.

There are storm warnings in the afternoon, and within minutes, not only is a big storm upon your town, but a tornado a mile wide has begun whipping its way across the landscape.

What would you do?

In Moore, they survive. It's the second time in a dozen years the community has been hit hard, and this time, two schools, with children inside, were hit.

The questions will surely follow about dismissal policies and the lack of safe rooms in schools in a high probability tornado area.

But that is for Moore, and it's for later.

For the rest of us, there is action we can take.

Consider donating to help the people of Moore. The images of neighborhoods now consisting of nothing but empty driveways and piles of rubble drive the point home. Those folks need everything.

The American Red Cross is, as always, there, on the scene, offering aid and comfort and food and shelter. And as always, you can help the Red Cross with a donation.

Visit redcross.org or call (800) RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation toward food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

The Red Cross will need all of our support. In Oklahoma, it already was providing shelter in Shawnee and other parts of the Oklahoma City area from weekend storms before the huge twister struck Moore.

In addition, be prepared in your home, your workplace, with your family, for storms. Part of the reason the toll was low in Oklahoma was that there was not only early National Weather Service warnings given (early warnings actually started several days before the storms), but that people heeded the warnings. Know what to do in a storm. We may not live in Tornado Alley, but we do get our share of heavy storms in the Tri-State Area, producing everything from high winds and hail to flash floods.

There also is an app from the Red Cross to help warn about tornadoes. Visit the Apple App store or the Google Play store to download the app for your phone. Tornado warnings are keyed out with a special alert on smartphones with the app, and there is an "I'm Safe" button to use to tell loved ones you're OK. The app sent 340 separate warnings and watch notices on Sunday and Monday as the tornado outbreak struck the Plains.

Take steps for yourself and help others. It's what's right for the country and your family.

 
 

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