How to help Mississippi tornado survivors
Devastated communities face a long road to recovery and are in need of assistance. AccuWeather has compiled a guide on how you can support relief efforts.
The vicious tornadoes that struck Mississippi on Friday evening killed 21 people and left many more injured and without a home. Those who survived are attempting to try to regain a sense of normalcy despite demolished homes and businesses.
For those looking to help the Mississippi tornado victims, it is important to research charities before donating using tools such as Charity Navigator. Here are some ways people can safely donate to the recovery process.
Rolling Fork relief
The decimated town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, was the hardest hit by the storms, taking the brunt of a tornado that was preliminarily rated EF4 strength by the National Weather Service. Locally, the Rolling Fork National Guard/Civic Center is open and accepting donations. For those outside of the area, donations can be made via the United Way of West Central Mississippi online portal or by sending a check to the organization. Donors are asked to write “Rolling Fork relief” in donation notes.
The Red Cross disaster teams are providing Mississippi communities affected by tornadoes with different forms of relief, including shelter, food and emotional support. For more information, people can follow Red Cross Mississippi on Twitter. Monetary donations can be made to support the organization’s relief efforts by visiting Redcross.org/AccuWeather.
Several verified GoFundMe fundraisers have also been created, including one for businesses and people in Rolling Fork and Sharkey County that has raised over $78,000 as of Monday morning.
WDSU News and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana partnered to create the Mississippi Tornado Relief Fund to aid survivors recovering from the storm, with all funding going toward “immediate relief efforts and long-term rebuilding in affected communities.”
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Department of Public Safety and Department of Agriculture have teamed up to accept donations of bottled water, canned goods and paper products at the Old Armory at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.
The management agency is also working with officials in Olive Branch, Mississippi, to accept donations of supplies at the City of Olive Branch Fleet Services building.
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The Amory Regional Museum in Amory, Mississippi, is also accepting supplies. Donations can also be sent to the Community Foundation of Washing County or the Crossway Church in Vicksburg.
State volunteer commission Volunteer Mississippi will be posting volunteer opportunities online, with MEMA officials saying volunteers would be matched with groups “when the time is right.”
Residents are urged not to "self-deploy" and to "wait for the highly trained men and women" of the state's emergency response network to conduct their initial work on the ground in the disaster areas.
Disaster and humanitarian relief organization Mercy Chefs are helping to make meals for tornado survivors and first responders, and are accepting both volunteers and donations through their website.
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