MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013 – The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the City of Portland go out tonight to the survivors of the tragic tornado that struck Moore, Okla., today. Moore is a suburb of Oklahoma City.
The state medical examiner’s office said late Monday that more than 50 people are confirmed dead, and the number is expected to rise during the night.
News reports said the tornado destroyed entire neighborhoods and crushed an elementary school, burying students amid the rubble.
“We offer our heart-felt prayers for everyone in Moore,” Mayor Charlie Hales said tonight. “And on behalf of everyone in Portland’s Police Bureau, Fire & Rescue Bureau and Emergency Communications, we offer our admiration and gratitude to the first responders there, who will struggle throughout the night to save lives.”
Authorities remind people that hurrying to the site of a disaster, without first being invited to help, only complicates the rescue efforts.
There are many ways for people to make meaningful donations to help the survivors inOklahoma:
• Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095
• Catholic Charities of Oklahoma – Donate at: http://catholiccharitiesok.org
• Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief –Requesting monetary donations (It says clothing NOT needed). Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief's website.
Send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave.,Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.
• Salvation Army – Supporters can donate online via the organization's website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You also can text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone.
To send a check, put the words "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check, and mail to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157. Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
• United Way of Central Oklahoma – A disaster relief fund is being activated as of May 21 so that individuals can specifically donated to tornado relief-and-recovery efforts, the organization says on its site.
United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund is open. Donations may be made online here. Checks, with a notation of "May Tornado Relief" also can be sent to theUnited Way ofCentral Oklahoma,P.O. Box 837,Oklahoma City,OK ,73101.