Oklahoma – May 2013
On May 20, 2013, a two-mile-wide (3 km) tornado with wind that reached 200 miles per-hour tore through Moore, Oklahoma, and the surrounding region, killing at least 24 people and injuring 240 more. The terrible storm struck Moore, a suburban area outside of Oklahoma City, in the afternoon when most people were not at home. It tore up two schools, a hospital, and other public buildings.
World Renew regional managers were already hard at work responding to tornadoes that struck Texas when the Oklahoma City tornado occurred. They were quickly in touch with government officials and others in Oklahoma to evaluate how they could best respond.
Based on those conversations, World Renew sent early response coordinators to Moore to help with spiritual care and to plan for clean-up and long-term-recovery efforts.
In December 2013, World Renew DRS building estimators surveyed homes to determine the extent and cost of the damage. Around the time of the one-year anniversary of the tornado in 2014, a World Renew needs assessment team contacted 1,500 homeowners to identify their tornado-related needs. This assessment helps ensure that the vulnerable do not fall through the cracks and that their needs will be met.
World Renew DRS is also involved in a safe-room pilot program in Oklahoma in response to this tornado. The program focuses on building a safe room in every tornado-vulnerable home.
Indiana/Illinois – November 17, 2013
Less than 24 hours after a November 17 tornado touched down, World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) volunteers were on their way to Kokomo, Indiana, and Cole City and Washington, Illinois, to provide spiritual care, meet with local officials, and do an initial assessment of the damage caused by the twister.
In April 2014, World Renew DRS took a community-wide survey (called a needs assessment) in Brookport, Illinois, to identify homeowners who still had tornado-related needs. This information was then supplied to the local recovery group to ensure that the needs that were identified would be addressed.
Church members and school students continue to volunteer with World Renew DRS on group missions trips to provide home repair services to tornado survivors in Indiana and Illinois.
To get involved, visit worldrenew.net/drs.