News / USA

Victims of Oklahoma Tornado Get Help From Near and Far

Victims of Oklahoma Tornado Get Help From Near and Fari
X
May 24, 2013 1:13 AM
In the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, the recovery from Monday's deadly tornado is picking up speed, even as locals mourn the loss of at least 24 people, including 10 children. Funerals will begin Friday in Moore, and President Obama plans to visit the town Sunday. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Moore, resources are pouring in from all over the country to help those in desperate need.
Greg Flakus
In the Oklahoma City suburb of  Moore, the recovery from Monday's deadly tornado is picking up speed, even as locals mourn the loss of at least 24 people, including 10 children. Funerals will begin Friday in Moore, and President Obama plans to visit the town Sunday. Resources are pouring in from all over the country to help those in desperate need.

The devastation of her home brought a bitter twist of irony to Linda Berna. She helped with search and rescue efforts here after the May 1999 tornado.

“We kicked down doors to see if there were any survivors, and now here I am on the other side. I never thought this would happen,” Berna said.

Hundreds of people like Berna are coping with loss and trying to survive.

To help them, Moore's First Baptist Church offered its large property as a center for relief operations.

For people in Moore who lost their homes or had homes heavily damaged, state and local officials, as well as private groups, have set up a command center here to provide them with food, and shelter if necessary.

But most people don't need to come here because volunteers load up trucks with water and food to distribute around town.

Donations have poured in from around Oklahoma and from many other states.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is on hand; so is the Red Cross.

And there are representatives from major insurance companies helping people file claims.

The State Farm company even offered relief in the form of free ice cream cones.

Moore resident Natasha says USAA insurance adjusters quickly provided her with a way to fix her home's damaged roof.  
 
“They said 'you were affected by the tornado, what were your damages?' They were real helpful, they took our claim,” Natasha said.

The USAA insurance company brought in a mobile claims processing unit from Texas and has 120 claims adjusters here.  

The tornadoes damaged or destroyed around 12,000 homes, with the total cost exceeding $2 billion. But Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak says that isn't his main concern.

“There are a lot of people out here trying to help hurt people who have lost loved ones, and we are trying to help them with their homes and autos and other things, but it pales in comparison of the loss of life,” Doak said.

On Friday, some of the activity here will cease as the church is used for two funerals of tornado victims, the first of many to come.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid