Response Updates

Moore Tornado Response

USA Reported by Convoy of Hope

June 20, 2013 | 1:37 p.m.

MOORE, OK — The disaster response phase of our efforts in Moore, Oklahoma, ended yesterday and focus will now turn to helping in recovery efforts.

“We’ve been on the ground in Moore since just minutes after the storm hit one month ago today and remain committed to helping the community recover in what ever way we can,” says Karen Benson, Disaster Response Director.

In the last month, our team in Moore coordinated 1,123 volunteers who worked 7,529 combined hours and led 91 debris removal teams. Twenty-four tractor trailer loads of emergency supplies were also shipped to Moore.

“There are so many partners, organizations and individual supporters who are crucial to what we’ve been doing in Moore and we thank them for stepping up to help others in a time of need,” says Benson. Convoy of Hope will be in Moore through the recovery and rebuilding phase.

June 6, 2013 | 6 a.m.

MOORE, OK  Because of your commitment to stand with us as we help the people of Moore, Oklahoma, lives are being changed and this community is getting the assistance it needs to recover and rebuild. We’ve sent more than two dozen tractor-tailor loads of supplies to Moore since the tornado hit and will continue to provide disaster relief assistance with your help. We still need your support as we move forward.

May 30, 2013 | 3:40 p.m.

MOORE, OK  Our disaster response continues in Moore, Oklahoma, where we have coordinated 640 volunteers who have donated a total of 4,153 volunteer hours.

“Our main focus has been on debris removal and there continues to be a great need for cleanup around properties that were damaged in the storm,” says Nick Wiersma, Disaster Response Volunteer Service Director.

To-date, 15 tractor-trailer loads of food, water and supplies have been delivered to Moore for distribution. Convoy of Hope will remain through recovery and rebuilding phases. Details of our involvement will be available in the coming days/weeks.

May 25, 2013 | 2 p.m.

MOORE, OK — “You have to let go of bad stuff,” says 12-year-old Marisela sitting in front of her destroyed home keeping watch while her family is out.

Emily, a young Convoy of Hope volunteer leans down to encourage Marisela after bringing her a box of food and cases of water for her family. Marisela, who turns 13 in two days represents one of about 450 families that were served today by our mobile distribution and debris removal teams. Some of those families were served by volunteers from Bass Pro Shops who delivered emergency meals in Newcastle, Oklahoma, where the E-F5 tornado is believed to have first touched down.

“We’re constantly assessing needs across the area of Moore, and in surrounding communities,” says Ryan Grabill, our Field Services Coordinator, ” families file work orders throughout the day and we coordinate volunteer efforts to help those families.”

Many of Friday’s work orders consisted of debris removal for families who were still living in homes that were damaged but not destroyed. One such home belongs to Lois who’s husband passed away due to illness on Monday, the day of the tornado.

“I had no idea how my daughter and I would clean this up,” said Lois standing in front of her home now free of debris, “I just thank God for every one of you guys. I do, I do. Every one of you.” As of Friday, May 24, ten loads of food, water and relief supplies have arrived in Moore, with at least five more scheduled to arrive Saturday, May 25.

May 23, 2013 | 2:30 p.m.

MOORE, OK — Two of our teams responded to one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Moore today, handing out water, food and plastic containers to storm survivors.

“For many of these families, this is the first time they’ve been able to return to their homes to recover what they can,” says Jim Batten, one of the first team members in the area. “We got word that what many people need are plastic storage containers to put their belongings in. Thankfully we had containers as part of our relief supplies so we were able to distribute them this morning.”

The initial response team assisted families in removing whatever they could from their torn apart homes. Water trickled down through holes in ripped apart roofs after heavy morning rains made work even more challenging for those who have already been through a difficult week.

“I just want everything to go back to normal,” said 22-year-old Jeremy, standing in front of what used to be his home. “But I am thankful you all are here. It means so much to us.”

National Guard and Oklahoma Highway Patrol units patrolled the streets as our new disaster response sprint van full of food and water entered the area. Debris removal teams are also being formed to help in upcoming clean-up efforts and our distribution center is open at Crossroads Church (8900 South Shields Blvd.) from 10 to 7 daily.

May 23, 2013 | 10 a.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — As our disaster relief and communications teams traveled through various checkpoints around the area of destruction last night, the beginnings of recovery and clean-up were all around. Utility crews knocked down broken power lines and erected new ones, volunteers worked tirelessly cleaning up streets and yards and wary survivors were finally allowed to return to their battered homes to recover belongings.

“It’s good to see a community come together so quickly to move on from this tragedy,” said Paul Coroleuski, our Field Services Director. “We are here to support them as they recover.”

As we walked through a neighborhood that had just opened to residents, we watched as people picked through debris to find family heirlooms, pictures and even pets. Volunteers also descended on the region. A group of friends from Texas parked in front of a pile of debris and had their work gloves on before they even got out of the car.

“We drove through the night from Texas to help out,” one of them said. Convoy of Hope will work with many volunteers in the coming days as distribution and clean-up efforts continue. Six tractor-trailer loads of supplies have been deployed to Moore to-date, with additional ones planned based upon need.

May 22, 2013 | 5:20 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — A new point of distribution has been established in Oklahoma City, a short distance from the devastated community of Moore. The new mobile distribution location at Crossroads Church (8900 South Shields Blvd.) will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. until further notice.

This afternoon, volunteers unloaded debris removal supplies while pallets of food and water were also unloaded.

“We’re here for the people of Moore,” says Executive Vice President Jim Batten after arriving on the scene this evening. “We’ll be cooperating with local, state and federal government officials to get aid to citizens of Moore in a safe and expedient manner.”

Much of the disaster zone is still off limits to debris removal teams and aid distribution teams, but plans are in place for Convoy of Hope teams to work directly in the area when it is safe to do so.

May 22, 2013 | 10 a.m.

NORMAN, OK — Distribution efforts have begun in the Moore area to bring storm survivors much needed relief after they’ve experienced incredible loss.

“We’ve unloaded the trucks and are ready to get water and food into the hands of people who need it,” says Ryan Grabill, Disaster Response Coordinator. “There are thousands of people here that are now homeless and we want to reach as many of them as we can.”

Disaster Response team members are also positioning at various points around the perimeter of the disaster zone to visit with homeowners and pass out applications for debris removal assistance.

“As soon as officials begin to open up neighborhoods to organizations like Convoy of Hope to come in and help, we’ll be ready to go in and start helping people clean up debris,” adds Grabill.

May 21, 2013 | 8:32 p.m.

MOORE, OK — Our Disaster Response teams have finalized a point of distribution to begin handing out aid to Moore, Oklahoma, tornado survivors.

“We will begin distribution tomorrow at New Life Bible Church in Norman,” says Stacy Lamb, a Disaster Response first responder for Convoy of Hope. “Our team will work with local partners to coordinate volunteers and get supplies to storm survivors quickly.”

Residents of Moore began sorting through what was left of their possessions today while law enforcement descended on the area, monitoring access and enforcing curfews. We are continuing to plan response efforts, including debris removal, for the days and weeks ahead, thanks to our supporters and partners.

May 21, 2013 | 1:38 p.m.

MOORE, OK — The first fleet of disaster response vehicles arrived in Moore, Oklahoma, this afternoon and staging has begun to provide emergency relief to survivors of yesterday’s deadly tornado. Continuing rain and thunderstorms in the Oklahoma City area have made response efforts here even more challenging.

“What we’re doing now is coordinating with partners and assessing where we will be most beneficial in the recovery process,” says Paul Coroleuski, Field Services Director. “We’ve got three tractor-trailers full of water, food, and cleaning supplies ready for distribution.”

In addition to the three tractor-trailers, our disaster response mobile command center, a box truck and debris removal equipment are also on site. The disaster response team at our World Distribution Center are continuing to coordinate additional loads of relief supplies in the coming days. Check back for more live updates from the field.

May 21, 2013 | 7:30 a.m.

MOORE, OK — Convoy of Hope teams have been working nonstop loading tractor-trailers with relief supplies and coordinating response efforts to the Moore, Oklahoma area late into the night and this morning. Immediately after the devastating tornadoes struck, a Convoy of Hope assessment team was in the area and tractor-trailers were loaded with emergency supplies at Convoy of Hope’s World Distribution Center.

“This is only the first phase of a full-scale response that will last for many weeks, if not months.,” says Hal Donaldson, President of Convoy of Hope. “In the coming days we will send more food, water and supplies to help families begin rebuilding their lives.” Early this morning those tractor-trailers and specially-trained, disaster response teams members departed for Moore.

May 20, 2013 | 6:15 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Convoy of Hope Disaster Response assessment team is on the ground in the Oklahoma City area where a massive tornado struck the southeastern suburb of Moore, Oklahoma.

“Our prayers are with the families who have been affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes,” says Hal Donaldson, President of Convoy of Hope. “Our team on the ground is already providing crucial information that will help us as we mobilize to send emergency supplies and teams to Oklahoma.”

Check back often to stay up-to-date on our Oklahoma tornado response.


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