Weather Alert

How to help victims of Friday’s deadly storms

▶ Watch Video: Biden pledges federal aid after tornadoes devastate central U.S.

Severe storms and tornadoes tore through multiple states on Friday night, devastating communities and killing dozens of people. 

Hundreds of thousands of people were experiencing power outages as of Saturday night, according to PowerOutage.US. Officials said many in the storms’ path have been left without homes amid ahead of an incoming cold front.

At least 70 people were killed in Kentucky, which was among the hardest hit areas. Governor Andy Beshear said the death toll in the state, “could end up exceeding 100.”

“This is likely to be the most severe tornado outbreak in our state’s history,” Beshear said Saturday. 

People survey damage from a tornado is seen in Mayfield, Ky., on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. Tornadoes and severe weather caused catastrophic damage across multiple states late Friday, killing several people overnight.

Mark Humphrey / AP

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker said Satruday at least six people were killed when the storms toppled an Amazon warehouse in the state. Forty-five people have been rescued from the collpased facility, but Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said they do not know how many more are missing because Amazon does not know how many people were in the warehouse at the time it collapsed.

As federal, state and local teams work towards recovery efforts and debris cleanup, here are three ways you can help the victims of Friday’s deadly storms:

1. The Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund

Beshear on Saturday established the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to aid those affected by Friday’s severe weather. 

The fund is asking for monetary donations that will be dedicated to “on-the-ground efforts going on right now, and the relief efforts that these families are going to need to rebuild,” the governor said Saturday. 

2. Verified online fundraisers

GoFundMe has organized a list of verified fundraisers on its platforms that seek to help different impacted communities throughout the country. Verified fundraisers include ones organizing funds for feeding first responders and necessities for families. 

“People across the country are asking for help to get back on their feet or to support community relief efforts,” GoFundMe wrote. “Donate to verified tornado outbreak fundraisers today to help those in need rebuild and recover.”

According to GoFundMe, fundraisers are verified once its Trust and Safety team identifies the organizer, who they are raising the funds for, their relationship to the recipient of the funds and how the funds will be used. The company guarantees that it will work with donors to determine if a campaign is fraudulent, which it said is “rare.”

“After news reports of a crisis, GoFundMe mobilizes a crisis team that immediately starts monitoring our site for any fundraisers that are created to help the individuals, families, and communities affected,” the company wrote. “Our goal is simple: protect your generosity and ensure that every dollar donated on our platform reaches the right place.”

3. American Red Cross

The American Red Cross said its teams are helping those in impacted states find food, supplies, shelter and emotional support. The organization said it has already dispatched crews to assess damage and determine what additional help is needed. 

The organization is requesting both blood and montearty donations.

“Our thoughts are with everyone whose lives were changed forever by the horrific and deadly tornadoes that touched down overnight across the center of the country,” the organization said



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