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  • How to help after a disaster

    Western Farmers Electric Cooperative contractor crews work on damaged areas in the Moore, Okla.

    Western Farmers Electric Cooperative contractor crews work on damaged areas in the Moore, Okla.

    The long road to recovery continues for Oklahomans impacted by the massive tornado in Moore and other twisters that hit the state in mid-May.

    Electric cooperatives have an organized disaster ­recovery system built into their cooperative DNA and official ­network. But what if you want to help out after a disaster like the one caused by a historic series of tornadoes in Oklahoma?

    The best way is to send money. For the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes, the co-ops have organized the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Oklahoma Relief Fund. The fund will assist individuals in electric cooperative service areas who were affected by the May tornadoes. Donations can be made with a credit card at www.oaec.com through their PayPal link, or by a check payable to “TEC Oklahoma Relief Fund” mailed to PO Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154. More than $100,000 has been collected so far.

    If you want to physically volunteer, don’t go to a disaster area like Moore, Okla., until you find an organization that has a specific need for you. Consider volunteering in one of the small towns or rural areas around the main disaster. Often these areas don’t receive the attention of larger, more suburban areas. And consider volunteering in the weeks or months after a disaster. The need will be there a long time after the media attention is gone.

    The city of Moore, Okla. is coordinating volunteers through two websites, Moore.Recovers.org and ServeMoore.com. Interested volunteers can sign up online or by calling (866) 484-3500.

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