CWS offers Kits, recovery training to storm-beleaguered U.S. states

April 30, 2015


Church World Service is offering CWS Kits and long-term recovery training to communities in a dozen U.S. states that have suffered loss of life, injuries and significant property damage from severe storms since late March.

Funds raised toward CWS Emergency Appeal #628-C (2015 U.S. Spring Storms) will support on-site training and shipment of CWS Kits – all donated by CWS member communions and their congregations – as requested by affected communities.

Situation Detail:

Since late March 2015, the United States has suffered several series of severe storms that have resulted in two fatalities, dozens of injuries and significant property damage.

In late March, a large storm system tore through the Midwest, impacting the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Hardest hit was Oklahoma where tornadoes hit the Oklahoma City area and Tulsa. One fatality was reported in Tulsa’s Sand Springs suburb, and 26 people were reported injured statewide.

On April 8 and 9, severe storms again moved across the Midwest.  Tornadoes, high winds and hail were reported in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. Hardest hit were five Illinois counties – Boone, DeKalb, Lee, Ogle and Winnebago.  In DeKalb County, the town of Fairdale saw significant damage to all 50 structures in the community. Other towns reporting serious damage were Ashton, Flagg Center, Kirkland and Rochelle.  One person in Rochelle was killed, and approximately a dozen persons were injured across the state.

The end of April saw numerous storms, including 12 tornadoes, across the Midwest and Gulf Coast. Affected states include Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.  There have been reports of injuries due to the impact of the high winds, hail and tornadoes. Numerous homes were damaged in Johnson County, Texas, on April 26. Scattered damage has been reported in numerous counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wind damage has also been reported in New Orleans, La.

CWS and Member/Partner Response:

CWS emergency response specialists are gathering information as it becomes available and making contact with members and partners in affected states, including FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons, State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and faith-based organizations. In support of survivors’ early needs, the agency is offering local partners and churches CWS material resources assembled and contributed by its member communions and their congregations nationwide. CWS emergency response specialists also are determining long-term recovery training needs in the affected communities and will work with experts in CWS member communions to provide requested training. Funds received for CWS Appeal #628-C (2015 U.S. Spring Storms) will be used to support CWS training activities and the shipment of any requested material goods.

CWS member communions are already active at the national and local level in all affected states meeting survivors’ needs, including clearing debris, mucking out homes, and providing food in shelters, grants and supplies of all kinds.

How to Help:

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, Attn. 2015 U.S. Spring Storms Appeal #628-C, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

CWS thanks its member communions for the efforts to help restock its warehouses with CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits and School Kits.  Many people in need will benefit from these resources. All efforts to replenish our supplies for future emergencies are, as always, greatly appreciated. CWS Baby Care Kits and School Kits are in shortest supply right now.  Visit for more information about CWS Kits.

Disasters such as this are a time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. Used clothing and other materials do little to restore the dignity of survivors.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.