I have learned that the Sheriff's Offices in Oklahoma have suffered numerous losses because of the tornado. This has affected many of the employees and their families. I am posting the following information so that if you are so inclined you can help these families. This is a message from the National Sheriff's Association (NSA). You can go to their website established for online donations or you can drop off the mentioned items to the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Tom Volner
Many of the officers from the counties of Cleveland, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie County went to work on the morning of May 20, 2013 and came home to huge piles of debris where their houses has stood that morning. Fortunately, their families are safe but they are facing huge burdens emotionally and financially to rebuild their lives, while serving their communities!
The EF5 tornado impacted Moore, Oklahoma, and adjacent areas, killing at least 24 people, including 10 children, and injuring more than 353 others. Current search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. The tornado made contact in the counties affected for a total of approximately 50 minutes and for about 17 miles, reaching a diameter of 1.3 miles wide at its largest capacity. The specified counties affected were Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie.
We have learned from Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association Executive Director, Ken McNair that in
- In Cleveland County, there are 12 employees of the sheriff’s office affected by the tornado with either some damage or complete devastation of their homes. Three of those have a total loss of their homes, other are missing walls and more.
- In Oklahoma County, there are ten employees of the sheriff’s office affected by the tornado with either some damage or complete devastation of their homes.We have four families with young children who's houses have been destroyed. We have one family who's horses were impacted and several others who can not move back into their homes.
- In Pottawatomie County, there are two employees of the sheriff’s office affected by the tornado with either some damage or complete devastation of their homes.
- In Lincoln County: No employees were affected by the tornado.
- In McClain County: No employees were affected by the tornado.
We here at NSA want to help. Specifically these deputies have immediate need of:
- New clothing: Any clothing that survived in the homes is covered by debris and glass and cannot be worn. The families have immediate need for access to clothing for their families.
- Housing: Until FEMA can intervene, these individuals need a place to take their families now!
- Food: These deputies and their families are without means to feed themselves. They have to wait until a more permanent solution can be found while getting through this ordeal and rebuilding their homes and lives.
In addition to the immediate needs of the families, the Sheriffs' Offices have need of the following to help clean up their counties:
- Heavy duty gloves
- Debris movers, cutters, and equipment
- Heavy duty bags to hold debris once cleared.
The NSA has activated our Disaster Relief Fund on the NSA website. If you will go to www.sheriffs.org/Disasterrelief, you can send a donation now! Then, I will personally make sure that a check goes out to the Oklahoma Counties to help their deputies get back on their feet.