Sand Springs Groups Plan Long-Term Tornado Clean Up

Friday, April 10th 2015, 11:26 am
By: News On 6

Service agencies, including the Red Cross, met Friday in Sand Springs to make sure long-term tornado recovery efforts are on track.

They're forming a committee to make moving forward as easy as possible.

Organizers said there are still dozens of families in need of help in Sand Springs and west Tulsa, and that Friday's meeting was to try to answer what to do moving forward.

Executive Director of Sand Springs Community Services was just one the leaders at the meeting Friday.

"I keep challenging everyone to get up off their couch, walk outside into their front yard and put their hands up in the air and look at themselves, because that's what these people have. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs," she said.

Thomas and several others want to help those long-term tornado victims.

4/8/2015 Related Story: SBA Offering Loans To Sand Springs, Tulsa Tornado Victims

“There were resources brought up that I didn't even know about. Some housing resources, some grant funding, so by having all of the people together we'll be able to help more people in a much more efficient way without duplicating services," Thomas said.

Services that the victims of the March 25th Tornado desperately need - everything from a place to live to toiletries, household items, furniture and clothes.

Donations have been coming into the agencies, but some, like Laurie Summers with the American Red Cross, said donors should be careful and make sure they designate their money specifically for relief efforts.

“You can ear mark those funds, specifically for Tulsa County or Oklahoma 2015 Storms,” she said.

Otherwise, donations could go towards national disaster relief efforts or the organizations' general fund and not tornado victims.

One of the biggest problems groups are facing is dozens of homeless families looking for places to live.

Volunteers said, without FEMA assistance, most people won't be able to rebuild and will have to relocate; making finding new housing a challenge.

But that's what the long-term recovery committee is about, prioritizing and getting everyone working together.

"That way we can just send them to the right place without having these poor people all over the place, we'll have the answers and there won't be any guess work, it will be absolute, this is where you need to go," Thomas said.

To donate or get assistance you can visit, Sand Springs Community Services, The Red Cross, Tulsa County and Catholic Charities.