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Tuesday 21 May 2013

ShelterBox responds in tornado-hit Oklahoma
ShelterBox responds in tornado-hit Oklahoma

A devastating two-mile wide tornado has torn through Oklahoma City suburbs with winds of up to 200mph (320km/h), destroying neighborhoods and schools.
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members Wayne Robinson (US) and Jeff Deatherage (US) are en route to Moore, Okla., the worst-hit city in the area. They are expected to arrive Tuesday night, and will then begin to carry out assessments of unmet needs in the area.

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this catastrophe,” said Emily Sperling, ShelterBox USA president. “In the following days, our team will be focusing on the most impacted areas to identify unmet shelter and non-food needs.”

As seen with Superstorm Sandy, these situations often require non-food items like blankets and hygiene kits. ShelterBox was able to assist families living in New York and New Jersey impacted by the hurricane and subsequent winter storms by providing these types of non-food items.

Debris everywhere 
The city of Moore is the worst hit. According to recent reports, 24 people have lost their lives, including nine children due to the collapse of multiple schools. Reports show debris everywhere, houses destroyed, upturned vehicles, street signs gone and power shortages.
"Homes completely gone"
Shocked survivors are now seen picking through the remains of their homes.
"There are shingles and pieces of sheet rock and wood in our yard and all across our neighborhood," Melissa Newton told the BBC. "Some homes are completely gone. It’s devastating."
Ricky Stover is another survivor: "We locked the cellar door once we saw it coming; it got louder and next thing you know, is you see the latch coming undone. We couldn’t reach for it and it ripped open the door and just glass and debris started slamming on us and we thought we were dead, to be honest."
All of us at ShelterBox extend our heartfelt thoughts to everyone affected.

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