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One Year Later: Nearly $3.7 Million in Oklahoma Tornado Aid

  • May 20, 2014

On May 20, 2013, a monstrous EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24, destroying more than 12,000 homes, and shattering thousands of lives. AmeriCares mobilized an immediate response, and has provided nearly $3.7 million in tornado aid to communities in Central Oklahoma, including $323,000 in funding to help restore and enhance health services.

AmeriCares arrived in the disaster zone within 24 hours, coordinating deliveries of medicines, vaccines, and relief supplies to help the sick and injured in Moore, Shawnee, El Reno, and other tornado-devastated communities. In all 50 shipments totaling $3.3 million in emergency aid was delivered to 20 partners, including 30,000 course treatments of medicine, 115,000 doses of tetanus vaccine, medical field tents, and 260,000 units of non-medical relief items including water, diapers and emergency cleanup kits.

Our work to restore and enhance health services continues today, with new funding to the Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at the HealthPlex hospital in Norman, OK, for medical equipment to help meet the increase in demand for maternity and pediatric care since the tornadoes destroyed Moore Medical Center.

Our large scale response included:

  • Tetanus vaccine: The risk of tetanus is high when residents and first responders sort through rubble and debris. We shipped more than 11,500 doses of vaccine to health care organizations.
  • More than 30,000 course treatments of medicine: including chronic disease meds, asthma and respiratory medications, nebulizers, insulin, diabetes supplies, and tetanus vaccine were delivered to partners to help fill urgent gaps. 
  • Thousands of diapers to help families with young children who have lost their homes and possessions in the storm were delivered to five partners.
  • More than 260,000 units of non-medical relief items, including personal hygiene items, clean up supplies, first aid and more were delivered to organizations helping families who were displaced by the tornado.
  • Medical field tents: We facilitated the donation of  military-style shelters from Alaska Structures to help emergency partners carry out response activities.
  • Bottled water: AmeriCares worked with partners Nestlé Waters North America and Feeding America to provide enough clean drinking water to help 2,571 survivors and first responders for one week. 
  • Funding to support the deployment of medical teams to help people in affected neighborhoods, to provide mental health counseling for survivors, and to equip a maternity and pediatric unit in Norman Oklahoma

“As part of longer term recovery efforts, our latest project support ensures that the hospital will have new medical equipment to help meet the increase in demand for maternity and pediatric care,” said Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares Vice-President of Emergency Response.  

Norman Regional HealthPlex nurse Blakeley Hamit checks 1-day-old Avery Herron’s vital signs in an infant warmer purchased with funding from AmeriCares. Photo courtesy of Norman Regional Health System Media Services. Photo courtesy of Norman Regional Health System Media Services.

Response partners:

  • Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
  • the Salvation Army
  • the American Red Cross
  • Crossings Community Clinic
  • Baptist Mission Center
  • Community Health Centers, Inc.
  • Bethel Acres Fire Department
  • Save the Children
  • Team Rubicon
  • MedCare

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