Locals playing a role in Moore tornado recovery

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by Diana Zoga, News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 11:13 PM

(KMOV) -- Trained volunteers across the metro say they are prepared to travel to Moore, Oklahoma when and if the help is requested.

At the American Red Cross office in St. Louis, Cindy Erickson says a nurse was sent down to assist.

Erickson says other Red Cross trained volunteers, especially those with expertise in health care and mental health care, will by dispatched if they're requested. Approximately 50 local volunteers are currently on call and ready to go at a moment's notice, said Erickson.

The Salvation Army office in St. Louis says it could send volunteers and canteens to Moore later. Dana Biermann says other volunteer offices that are closer to Oklahoma are collecting supplies and headed to Moore.  

St. Louis area volunteers will likely be asked to deploy at a later time, in order to give the initial responders a break.

Chesterfield-based Service International says it sent an initial management team to Oklahoma on Tuesday night to scout staging areas. Once the group is given the OK and told it is safe, other volunteers will travel to Moore to provide free labor for homeowners. Volunteers will arrive with equipment to clear debris, cut down trees, or provide other assistance.

"We'll go through the debris with the home owners or we'll actually go through it for them and we'll try to find key items like a photograph or anything we can find," said Chelsea Perry of Service International.

"A wedding dress, we've found that before."

News 4 learned of others who are gathering donations. United Industries, which manufactures home, lawn and garden products in Bridgeton is packing a truckload of products - including personal insect repellent.

 "You don't really think about insect repellent and the need for that in a crisis like this, but it's definitely a need," said Ashley Ulkes of United Industries.

 "If we can take away just a sliver of stress in someone's life we want to be able to do that," she added.

 Kent Stallings, with United Industries, grew up in Oklahoma. Much of his family still lives in Oklahoma City.

 "As people, you just need to help other people. It's important."

Click here to donate to the American Red Cross. 

Oklahoma University Sooners are also offering assistance to tornado victims. Click here to donate.

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