OEM, FEMA Release (FIRST) Storm Damage Assessment Totals:
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have compiled the damage assessment data for storms that took place May 19-20, 2013. According to preliminary aerial assessments, the storm impacted 3,937 homes, businesses and non-residential buildings in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. Of those, 1,248 were destroyed, 452 sustained major damage, and 640 sustained minor damage.
Since the first tornado, Oklahoma United Methodists have joined the Oklahoma VOAD in opening four Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC's) addressing the immediate needs of the survivors. The Oklahoma VOAD has formed at least six Task Forces to begin planning to address the Long Term Recovery needs of the survivors. Oklahoma United Methodist will be involved in all six of these Task Forces.
Oklahoma UMC had at least four major metropolitan churches close to the storm tracks, but most of the churches sustained only minor damage. These churches then stepped up and began serving their neighbors in need and have not stopped since the first minutes after the first tornado. Besides the committed and close involvement of United Methodist in the Oklahoma VOAD's response (of which Richard Norman is the Chair), Oklahoma United Methodists have opened two Long Term Recovery Offices. The first UM LTR Office was opened at Moore FUMC in Moore, Oklahoma, and has already been addressing volunteer and project coordination for immediate needs. The second UM LTR office will be opening in the next couple of weeks at St. Paul's UMC in Shawnee, Oklahoma. As always, UM’s are not only responding to immediate needs, but we are gearing up for the Long Term.
We will not be able to do this all on our own and thus will be turning to our United Methodist servants from around the country to help our Oklahoma neighbors to recover to their “New Normal.”
Invitation to Other UM’s:
All those interested in serving in Oklahoma are instructed to go to our OKVIM Disaster Response website and pre-register yourself or your team. Please be patient as we continue to form our two Long Term Recovery offices and the processes involved in this recovery.