World Vision teams move into tornado-struck communities as rescue transitions to recovery

Moore, Oklahoma (May 22, 2013) – Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision deployed its first assessment team to communities affected by the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma today, as search and rescue crews finalize their efforts to find survivors amidst the rubble.

In expectation of the need, the organization Tuesday sent a 53-foot truck trailer filled with relief supplies to the area.  Supplies include food kits, cleaning supplies, paper products, diapers and blankets.  The trailer will serve as a mobile distribution warehouse out of which World Vision will distribute vital relief supplies to families hardest hit by the storms.

“While it’s an enormous relief to hear that fewer people lost their lives than initially reported, the degree of damage and destruction is incredibly severe,” said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s domestic disaster response director.  “We already know the supplies won’t be enough to meet the need, but our staff are moving in to bring as much help, comfort and encouragement as possible.”

Freeman is part of the assessment team traveling to Moore on Wednesday.

In addition to those already in the region, World Vision will send staff this week from its national headquarters and distribution center in the Pacific Northwest to provide additional support. 

“Generous donors nationwide provide the resources that allow us to pre-position supplies so that we can move quickly when disasters like these storms happen,” said Freeman.  “But our supplies are getting low, and hurricane season officially begins June 1.  We’re eager to restock so we can move as quickly the next time as we did this past week.”

In 2012, World Vision’s Domestic Disaster Response team provided relief for more than 47,000 people, including more than 30,000 children. This year, World Vision continues to assist the most vulnerable affected by Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey and has provided relief and rebuilding supplies to those affected by tornado damage in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Last week, World Vision responded with relief supplies and emergency kits to the families affected by the deadly tornadoes in north Texas.

To support World Vision’s efforts, visit or text “TORNADO” to 777444 to provide at $10 donation.