How to help Oklahoma tornado victims? Donate money

Relief organizations and Kansas’ emergency management division are urging people to send money to help with Oklahoma relief efforts.

“The best way we can help right now is to donate cash so that emergency relief organizations can purchase exactly what is needed when it is needed,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said in a release.

People looking to volunteer are urged to go through official channels rather than self-deploying, said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

“We understand everyone wants to help, and we also realize volunteers who self-deploy mean well,” Tafanelli said, “but they sometimes forget their presence will put a strain on food and shelter resources needed to help storm victims.

“It’s better to let relief organizations know that you are available and what skills and other resources you can bring. Then they can contact you if and when your help is needed.”

The Salvation Army’s Kansas and Western Missouri Division has sent a team of ministers and volunteers to provide spiritual and emotional care for the survivors, emergency workers and residents of Moore, Okla.

There may be a need later on for in-kind donations, said Amanda Waters, divisional director of community relations for the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri.