We have had a very difficult couple of days with some very devastating tornados hitting several communities in Oklahoma. As I write this we are still experiencing tornados on the ground in Oklahoma. We know you all are seeing and hearing about the devastation and want to assist as soon as possible, but right now we want to ask you to do the following things to make our collaborative effort as effective as possible for our neighbors in need:
1. Please join us in allowing the first responders to do the work they need to do. It will take time to assess the complete amount of damage our fellow Oklahomans have suffered and comprise a list of how our VOAD organizations can help to meet their needs.
2. In the meantime, begin to take inventory of all available goods, services, and resources of your organization. Also, please take inventory of your organizations personnel and volunteers with their skill sets and availability.
3. At this time, PLEASE ask your organizations to make financial donations only until when and if other types of donations are requested. We all KNOW not heeding this request can lead to the second disaster after the disaster.
IMMEDIATE ATTENTION NEEDED ON VOLUNTEERS
Many unsolicited volunteers are showing up at the Incident Command Center in Moore!! PLEASE instruct all volunteers associated with your organization or other individual volunteers or groups you may come in contact with to NOT self-deploy. Best practices include a collaborative response, so people are directed WHEN NEEDED and WHERE NEEDED so their help and skills are most needed and will be most effective.
Rev. Richard W. Norman
Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster