Oklahoma Tornado Destroys Lives and Property

Photo credit: Richard Rowe, Reuters (CNN)

We’ve seen the pictures and the videos. A two-mile-wide tornado pummeled a suburb of Oklahoma City. Winds up to 200 miles per hour leveled entire neighborhoods, including two elementary schools with the children trapped inside. Nine of those kids died, as did more than 15 other residents, and hundreds were injured.

Many lives were saved due to a 15- or 20-minute warning that enabled them to find shelter, and at least 100 were rescued from the rubble by neighbors and first responders.

We hear the accounts of survivors, picking through the rubble and it all seems surreal. Our hearts go out to all those who lost their loved ones, their property, and their livelihoods. One day, they are getting up and going to work or taking their kids to school, and an hour later, they are trying to find their bearings in a place that is as barren and alien to them now as the surface of the moon.

Tornadoes and other severe weather events are out of our control, but we can take steps to help the victims and to protect ourselves from future natural disasters.

Offer help. How can you help the people of Moore, OK? You can volunteer or donate to disaster relief efforts at the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, or Convoy of Hope. Other relief organizations are listed in Landline Magazine. If you are hauling emergency supplies, HOS rules may not apply.

Stay away, unless you are involved in disaster relief or clean-up. Highways I-35 and I-44 were closed temporarily, according to Transport Topics and traffic is still slow. Oklahoma DOT has updates here.

Protect yourself. What should you do if a tornado is headed your way? There are good resources in the Tornado Protection and Survival Guide, found on the Truckers Report web site. CNN also offers advice.

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