June 2013

May Tornados

We have all been touched in some way by the recent tornados. I live in Shawnee and the day before the May 20th F5 tornado hit Moore, an F4 hit Shawnee. I do have an in-ground storm shelter and I was in it with my dogs. My area of town was not hit, but I was thankful to be able to get below ground with my "family." That tornado was on a path that looked like the range we use in Pink would take a direct hit – thankfully it did not, but a trailer park near the range, just off Hwy. 102 (many of you have driven by it going to the range) was completely demolished. Several vehicles were thrown off I-40 at Hwy. 177 in Shawnee – cars were crushed and people were injured. Two people lost their lives in the Shawnee tornado.

The next day I was watching the live feed from Chopper 4 when the wall cloud dropped a tornado at Newcastle (just south of Norman), and I watched with horror as it turned into a monster. It was heading straight for Earl's BBQ in Moore where we had just been on Saturday for a class. I said a prayer for the managers there, for their safety and wisdom to know what to do. You can read about what happened that afternoon as I heard it from one of the managers on the Articles tab.
This newsletter honors the resilience of Oklahomans who went through these storms. The Just for Fun tab has a few pictures expressing the sense of humor of many of the survivors. And the entire Articles tab features personal stories from a few people connected with Oklahoma Personal Defense. Longtime readers will recognize some of the writers as ongoing contributors to the newsletter. And many of you will know the names and faces of these authors because you've been with them in classes.

For those of you who are new subscribers, the OPD newsletter typically features articles, stories, and photos related to women's self-defense (read previous newsletters and ongoing columns on the Newsletter archive page here). It's also not usually this long. I was amazed at all of these stories as I heard them, and I wanted to share them with all of you.

Our normal format will resume with the July newsletter.


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How to Help

No doubt all of us want to help in some way. Some have been able to go out and physically help; others for one reason or another could not physically go. I've heard stories about how rewarding it is to go out and physically help, but if you couldn't physically go out and help don't feel bad, there are plenty of options to give! Here's information on how you can either physically help or help with a donation.

The City of Moore Recovers is an excellent resource through which you can give or volunteer. If you click the "I Want to Give" button, you have the choice to make a monetary donation or you can click "Donate Items" and it will take you to a page where you can input what items you have to give and it will match you with people who need those items. Also as you can see, if you are a tornado victim and have needs, there's a button for that as well.

The City of Moore website has a great deal of very helpful information for Moore residents, but one thing I love about their options are the various donate buttons. As you can see starting on the left there's a General Disaster Fund; if you're an animal lover you can donate to the Animal Welfare Fund; if your heart is with the fire departments and law enforcement personnel you can donate to Safety Personnel; and finally if what touches you most are children you can donate to the Moore Public Schools.

Serve Moore is a faith based group consisting of several area churches of all denominations. Louise told me they were very well organized and providing excellent help. If you want to volunteer this is a great way to be a part of a group going in to areas where help is most needed.

Earl's in Moore – safe and sound two days after the tornado!

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