As of Wednesday morning, no American Red Cross volunteers from the Upper Peninsula have been deployed to help in Moore, Oklahoma. That area is cleaning up from a devastating tornado that killed at least 24 people and injured hundreds more on Monday afternoon. President Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.
Requests for Red Cross volunteers from the U.P. could come soon. In the meantime, people who want to help can make a donation at www.redcross.org . They can also dial 1-800-REDCROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Jeffrey Selesky, the Emergency Services Program Manager at the Marquette Red Cross, said interest in traveling south to lend a hand is very high among U.P. residents. He said many U.P. volunteers are ready to go if and when the call comes.
"Well I've been amazed so far because I've received a lot of phone calls from private individuals who want to provide some relief in the disaster area," said Selesky. "Even though right now it's early on in the operation, as far as Red Cross deployment is concerned, there are people basically stepping up to the plate and wanting to know what they can do."
People also donate money in person at the American Red Cross office in Marquette at 104 Coles Drive. At this time, the office can only accept money. No food or clothing is currently being collected because there aren't any means to transport items to Oklahoma.
The Salvation Army is also on the scene at many locations throughout Oklahoma. The Salvation Army has mobilized their emergency relief services, including multiple disaster response units to provide food, hydration and emotional support to first responders and storm survivors.
People can contribute to The Salvation Army's relief efforts by: texting the word "storm" to 80888 to make a $10 donation; calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY; going to www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org; or mailing checks to: The Salvation Army, PO Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157.