JOPLIN MISSOURI TORNADOES…WHAT’S GOING ON… HOW TO HELP… HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY IS SAFE!!

Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado
near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo.
(Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press / May 22, 2011)

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Tonight as I sat in my basement with my two daughters and husband I thought of the devastation that had occurred only hours from my house. A place my husband frequently has traveled for work… a place where people I know live and have lost their homes. I sat in my basement praying with my oldest for our family and for the families of Missouri who may or may not receive this same tragedy! Thankfully my home is safe, and so is my family. Please keep the families of Joplin, MO in your thoughts and prayers in the up coming days and weeks!

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I know some people are looking for how to help, if their families and/or friends are safe, or in general just what is going on so here is some information I got from the ozarksfirst.com website:

“(Joplin, MO) — At least 24 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri after a tornado tore through the heart of the town.

St. John’s hospital suffered a direct hit, as did a crowded Wal Mart in a busy section of town.

Cell phone towers were destroyed, knocking out reception to thousands, making it difficult to find loved ones.

St. John’s says it will be updating its Facebook page through the evening.
And another Facebook page has been established to help located people in the area.
(ALSO, Red Cross has a page they are running where you can check in if you are safe or check to see if your family is safe here)

Emergency officials are asking sightseers to stay away from the area while the damage is assessed. To volunteer, call 1-800-427-4626

The Red Cross says volunteers are being mobilized and a shelter has been set up at Missouri Southern State College at 3950 E. Newman Road in Joplin at the Leggett & Platt Ath Center.

For nurses or doctors looking to help, call (417) 832-9500 for the Greater Ozarks chapter of the Red Cross.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is asking all first responders to go to Joplin to a command post at 34th & Main.

Click herefor a list of Red Cross shelters.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211.

The 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational.

Weather and emergency information also are available on the state of Missouri’s website, MO.gov.

Senator Roy blunt is also urging everyone to proceed safely and use extra precautions. He says to call his office (417) 877-7814 for help.
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