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Deadly tornados tore through several Oklahoma communities on May 19, 20 and 31, 2013. These are the stories of natural disaster and its aftermath, and of communities healing and recovering.

Tornado Recovery Resources

Mike Prendergast

As residents in Oklahoma pick up the pieces of their lives, there are many agencies and organizations providing disaster relief. KGOU has compiled a list of resources to aid in the recovery.

(Updated June 11 at 6:17 p.m.)

City of Moore Information

Theofficial web page for the City of Moore has information about debris removal, mail delivery, volunteer coordination and more.

Food Distribution 

The Regional Food Bank has opened a Disaster Relief Distribution Center at 2635 North Shields in Moore. Hours are 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily. For after hours assistance, call 405-600-3149. Shovels, trash bags, water, snacks and more. Open to individuals and disaster relief agencies.

Red Cross Services for Tornado Victims

The American Red Cross tornado relief effort in Oklahoma will continue through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Emergency aid stations and shelters will be open and disaster workers will be handing out food and relief supplies to those affected by this week’s devastating storms. Here’s a complete list of Red Cross service locations, and the main web page for the central Oklahoma Red Cross offices.  If you have questions or need help, call 405-228-9500.

Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program will be providing free full service laundry to relief workers and residents of Oklahoma who are in need of resources and support following the damage caused by the adverse weather. These residents and workers are encouraged to drop off their laundry to be washed, dried and folded, free of charge. No bedding, jackets, or other large pieces will be accepted. Please limit one load per family. Services available from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 25th and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Sunday, May 26th  at Walmart at 501 SW 19th St, Moore, OK 73160.  For more information, call (405) 790-0021.

May 31st Tornado Information:

The American Red Cross has opened a new Multi-Agency Resource Center in El Reno for those affected by the May 31st tornadoes. Residents can meet with several agencies for information and services about the recovery process. The center is open from 9 a.m.  to 7 p.m. at the Jenks Simmons Field House at 2-11 North Country Club Road in El Reno.

The following partner agencies have confirmed they will have representatives at the El Reno MARC: AmeriCorps, Catholic Charities, Goodwill Industries, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, NACC, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, and the YMCA. Dell will provide computers with internet access, and the Canadian Valley Hospital will offer tetanus boosters.

FEMA Services for Tornado Victims

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has assistance for individuals and business owners who sustained losses. FEMA assistance is available for home owners and renters.  Apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), online, or by web-enabled mobile device. Disaster assistance applicants who use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Here's a list of FEMAshelters.

Four short-term FEMA registration intake centers are currently open in the cities of Moore, Shawnee, Carney, Oklahoma City and Norman to assist survivors in registering with FEMA. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Specialists from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Customer Service Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be on hand to answer questions. The locations are:

First Baptist Church, 301 NE 27th St., Moore

Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, 1700 W Independence, Shawnee

Carney High School, 203 S. Carney St., Carney

Luther Community Service Center, 205 E. 1st St., Luther

Little Axe Elementary School, 2000 168th Ave, NE, Norman


OKStrong:  A range of services is available, and non-emergency disaster or health and human service information is available at 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from home or cellular telephones.

Oklahoma Department of InsuranceThis is a list of services from the ODI.

Oklahoma Attorney General:  Information on how to report suspicions of price gouging or charity fraud is here.

Business Support

The Greater Oklahoma City Back to Business initiative wants to connect businesses in need to businesses that can help.  Business owners should call 405-297-8943 or visit their website in order to report their damage. Area companies with resources to share can fill out a form to make business supplies, office space or other resources available to the effort. 

Lost Pets and Horse Care

The pet triage center is being operated by ODAFF veterinarians and staff as well as volunteer veterinarians. Animals found in the affected area are brought into the triage center where they are documented, given an identifying number, examined by a veterinarian, photographed and then transported to one of four cooperating local shelters. If an animal needs medical attention, it is transported to one of four designated clinics.

The photographs of the incoming animals are posted on Facebook on the McClain County Animal Response Team page and online. Owners are encouraged to visit the triage center to report their missing pets and to visit the online pages to determine if their pet has been located. They may also call the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry at (405) 837-7240.

A local nonprofit organization, Thoroughbred Athletes, Inc., is selling T-shirts to raise funds for horses injured in the May 20 tornado. T-shirts are $20 each and will be available for pickup at Red Earth Feed & Tack, located at 2301 E. I-44 Service Road in Oklahoma City, or they can be shipped for an additional $5 per shirt. Individuals can order T-shirts by sending money via PayPal to lynn@thoroughbred-athletes.com and including a preferred size and, if being shipped, a preferred address.

Lost Photos

The National Disaster Photo Rescue is helping to returning lost photographs to their owners. There's also a Facebook page for the Moore area.  Volunteers are needed and can sign up at the website. 

Legal and Taxes Support

Working with FEMA, the Oklahoma Bar Association offers a toll-free hotline for survivors.  Call 1-866-341-8416 or fill out this form to receive free help on disaster-related legal issues such as bankruptcy, contract and contractor problems, landlord/tenant concerns, wills and insurance.  The American Bar Association also provides the National Disaster Legal Aid website, which serves as a resource for people who are looking for legal assistance in dealing with the aftermath of a disaster. 

The Oklahoma Society of CPA's has web page with resources about tax implications for tornado victims.

Lost Glasses

People who lost their glasses or contacts in Moore, Shawnee, Newcastle, Bethel Acres, and Little Axe can obtain free services at the Vision Relief Clinic, Graceway Baptist Church, 1100 SW 104th in Edmond until Friday May 31st. No appointment is needed. For more information call Lin Frieden 405-640-3484.

Counseling and Mental Health

Health and Human Services:  A toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746) to survivors who are experiencing emotional distress.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Online resources are plentiful for helping parents, teachers, caregivers, mental health professionals and first responders talk with children and youth about natural disasters, traumatic stress and loss. View the list.

Donations and Volunteering

United Way/OKStrong:  Governor Mary Fallin, in coordination with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, has established the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund to assist with the long-term medical, emotional and educational needs of victims of the May 20 tornado in Moore and the May 19 tornado near Shawnee. Donations for the long-term needs can be made by calling (405) 236-8441 or donating online.

Red Cross: For those seeking to contribute to American Red Cross assistance efforts, financial contributions to the organization can be made online. A $10 donation can be made directly by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999. To ensure your donation goes to the Oklahoma Red Cross, choose "Your Local Red Cross Chapter."

The Salvation Army: Interested donors can contribute to the Salvation Army online or by phone at 800-725-2769. Checks may be sent to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157 . Be sure to designate checks for “Oklahoma Tornado Relief.”

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma accepts money for aid. You can text "FOOD" to 32333 to donate $10 or contribute online.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute seeks blood donors. Donations are accepted from healthy individuals ages 16 and older and O-Negative and RH-Negative blood types are specifically requested. Additional details and donation site information is available online.

Red Cross Volunteers:  Those wishing to volunteer their services can register onlineor by calling 405-228-9500. Volunteers will go through brief training sessions and will be assigned as needed during this period of recovery and cleanup.

Faith-based organizations taking supplies and providing relief:

Feed the Children

Journey Church


The Alameda Church of Christ (Norman)

OKC Nazarene Disaster Relief

Electrical Service

OG&E customers can get information about OG&E's storm restoration efforts online or on the company's Facebook page or on Twitter.

Any OG&E customer still without power is urged to call 272-9595 to report their outage; even those that previously reported their outage are asked to call. OG&E customer-walk-up centers in storm-damaged neighborhoods will remain open as needed to address customer questions and concerns. Centers are located at First Baptist Church of Moore at 301 NE 27thand at the Super Wal-Mart at 501 SW 19th.

To become part of this list, email KGOU with the information.

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