Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Efforts
This page will be updated as new information is received.
To determine eligibility register: www.DisasterAssistance.gov or 800-621-3362.
For TTY call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) can call 800-621-3362.
Persons with a smartphone can download the FEMA app at https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app and register.
If you are interested in helping, please visit the links below. You can also follow @ServeKentucky and @KentuckyEM on social media for updates.
Governor Beshear established the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to assist those impacted by the tornados and the severe weather system on December 11, 2021. All donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund are tax-deductible.
Donate online: https://secure.kentucky.gov/formservices/Finance/WKYRelief OR Mail checks to: Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, 200 Mero Street, 5th Floor, Frankfort, KY 40622. In memo line, please note donation is for "Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund."
If your home was damaged or destroyed by the severe weather and you need Red Cross assistance, please call 1-800-RED CROSS.
If you need a safe place to stay, you can find a list of open shelters at redcross.org/shelter.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for access to real-time information and safety tips. The Emergency app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
If you are already affiliated with a response organization, please contact them directly. They will let you know when conditions are safe and when they will begin deploying volunteers.
IMPORTANT: Volunteers must affiliate with an organization. Under no circumstances should a volunteer self-deploy to an affected area! Unaffiliated, self-deployed volunteers can create additional burdens on affected communities and can pull resources away from survivors.
KEEPING VOLUNTEERS SAFE AND HEALTHY
Preparedness for Volunteers and Volunteer Organizations: If you are feeling sick, or displaying any symptoms of illness, please stay home. We love our volunteers, but we need you to be healthy and operating at 100% to make that happen. Our first priority is to keep all volunteers and their families’ safe during this National Emergency. We understand that those who are not suffering from the virus or who may have already recovered from the virus, may want to help. Below are general guidelines to keep you safe so you can help others and so we all get through this crisis together.
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) VOAD is a coalition of non-profit and faith-based, public and public and private organizations and agencies that respond to disasters by bringing all available resources together to assist those impacted by disasters. VAODS provide a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration that fosters a more effective delivery of services to disaster affected communities.
Support those who help survivors and respond to disasters. Consider one of the following ALVOAD member agencies:
Civil Air Patrol Alabama Wing
Coffee County ROCC/VOAD
Covington County VOAD
Cullman County VOAD
Elmore County VOAD
Etowah County VOAD
Good Shepherd UMC
Jefferson/Shelby County VOAD
Legal Services of Alabama
Madison County VOAD
Marshall County Commission
Morgan County VOAD
Walker County VOAD
FOR VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS
Volunteer Toolbox: Resources for non-profits utilizing volunteers in times of disaster.
Volunteer Hours Tracking: Please see link below to download form to track volunteer hours.
Helpful tips for Donating
Cash is best! –This allows relief organizations to purchase exactly what items are needed to assist in the response and recovery efforts. Funds will also provide direct victim assistance.
Confirm the Need Before Collecting – Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to sort and dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods.
Helpful tips for Volunteering
Call 2-1-1 to register to volunteer.
Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.
Be safe: Do not self-deploy until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.
Be patient: Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.