Coast organizations helping victims impacted by deadly tornadoes

A series of tornadoes ripped through the Heartland this past weekend, leaving 90 people dead and many trying to pick up the pieces.

A string of tornadoes struck Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri leaving many devastated. To aid those in need, Coast organizations have hit the ground in person and virtually. Southeast Mississippi American Red Cross Executive Director John McFarland said, “We have a couple that are helping with logistics. We can monitor through all this software.”

The Southeast Mississippi American Red Cross is helping those in need by sending volunteers, while others have been monitoring needs virtually. “Everything that they are using, of each supplies they have distributed, how many meals that have distributed. We can keep track of what they need.”

Lending a virtual hand helps with not only getting basic supplies, but also helps with communicating with people on the ground, tracking shelter capacity, and helping those with medical needs. “A lot of things that used to require people on the ground running around doing things, checking in stores for this or that or whatever, but now can be done virtually.”

While American Red Cross has been mostly virtual, Heather Eason, founder of Comeback Coolers, has been on site in Kentucky delivering coolers. “We delivered hard back coolers, 42 kid coolers, and 20 linemen bags to linemen and first responders.”

Although South Mississippians are use to natural disasters like hurricanes, nothing could have prepared Eason for what she saw. “It looks like what I would imagine a war zone looks like.”

Eason says it is going to be a long road ahead for the people impacted by the tornadoes. “I think we just need to pray for them and help in whatever way each of us feels called to help in our own way.”

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