With only a few hours notice, the All Hands Volunteers Launch Team boarded flights aimed for Texas thanks to Southwest Airlines’ donation. Devastating tornadoes leveled the Rancho Brazos community in Granbury, Texas, and All Hands partnered with Habitat For Humanity to organize a rapid response cleanup of the affected area. Upon landing at Dallas Love Field, we walked off the plane to see the news that more tornadoes hit the region, this time in the southern Oklahoma City Metro area.A mere 24 hours apart, EF4 and EF5 tornadoes ripped across five counties in Oklahoma, leaving a wake of damage nearly 20 miles long. With winds close to 200mph, these funnels impacted 10,000 people, damaged nearly 2,400 homes, and killed 26 people, including 10 children. Within hours, President Obama signed a Major Disaster Declaration for parts of Oklahoma. This band of storms is considered to be one of the worst in the last 20 years and the deadliest since the Joplin, Missouri, tornado of 2011.
The All Hands Launch Team continued on their trek to Granbury, keeping a trained eye on the situation in Moore, OK. Three days after the storms hit Moore, our Assessment Team moved from Texas to Oklahoma. Initial efforts focused on assessing the impact to residential structures, evaluating the most effective way to engage volunteers in the recovery, and coordinating with local community officials and national partner organizations.
With details falling into place, All Hands again turned to Southwest for help flying in seasoned Team Leaders and Assessors from across the country on very short notice. The faster we assemble our key project team, the faster our volunteers are in the field, helping the community get back on its feet. And the assistance that Southwest provides is critical to these recovery efforts.
On May 29, All Hands launched volunteer-powered Project Moore. With the launch of every All Hands project comes a commitment to assisting survivors in taking the first step toward recovery by harnessing the power of volunteers. Project Moore, our response to the devastating EF5 tornado that tore across the greater Oklahoma City area, will be no different. This Saturday, June 8, we are teaming up with Southwest Airlines to volunteer and help clear and sort debris scattered near Oklahoma City and Moore. In the weeks to come, our volunteers will continue to work to clear the destruction left behind. They will get dirty, sweaty, and certainly exhausted. But more importantly, they will be humbled, not by the difficulty of the work, but by the resiliency of the survivors they assist.
Keeping a close eye on the severe weather that continues to plague the Oklahoma City area and much of the region, our volunteer teams have been on the ground, working in the impacted areas since project launch. They have assisted homeowners in salvaging possessions and clearing massive debris fields in some of the harder hit areas. The need is great, and the community’s recovery is far from over. We’re thrilled to have the help from the LUV airline to help rebuild Oklahoma.
If you are a homeowner and need assistance, please call the All Hands Homeowner Hotline: 405-432-4493.
If you would like to volunteer with Project Moore, please apply here, or call the All Hands Volunteer Hotline: 405-432-4504.
If you are unable to volunteer at this time, but would still like to help those in Moore and the surrounding areas, support All Hands’ recovery efforts by making a donation, or by setting up a personal fundraising page. Your contributions will go towards tools and equipment, fuel, transportation and other operational support.
You can also make a $10 donation by texting RESPOND to 80088. Press “1” to confirm your donation.