Updated CWS emergency appeal: Severe storms and tornadoes

April 20, 2012

Destroyed homes line the streets of downtown West Liberty, KY. FEMA is working with Commonwealth and local officials to remove debris and demolish condemned buildings. Photo: Marilee Caliendo/FEMA

Destroyed homes line the streets of downtown West Liberty, KY. FEMA is working with Commonwealth and local officials to remove debris and demolish condemned buildings. Photo: Marilee Caliendo/FEMA

Appeal Number 627-T Update (April 20, 2012)
Appeal Goal: $110,000


Spring storms and tornadoes continue to cause significant destruction throughout the United States. In recent weeks we’ve seen devastating tornadoes in Texas with significant damage in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Communities most severely impacted were: Arlington, Forney, Lancaster and Dallas.

Last weekend’s tornadoes impacted states in the Midwest including Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

  • In Kansas, 20 tornadoes have been confirmed. Hardest hit was the Wichita area in Sedgwick County. Damages there are estimated at over 238 million dollars as buildings at several aircraft industrial complexes were destroyed. As many as 10,000 jobs may be affected. In the Oaklawn area, 100 mobile homes were destroyed at the Pinaire Mobile Home Park. There were 17 persons injured in Kansas. Tornadoes also hit other areas throughout the state damaging and destroying farmsteads.
  • In Nebraska, 14 tornadoes were reported in five counties. Communities impacted include North Platte, Oxford, Cook and Nebraska City.
  • In Iowa there were five tornadoes. Ten persons were injured. The town of Creston (Union County) was hardest hit. Thirty-four homes were destroyed with an additional 31 being damaged. Southwest Iowa Community College and a hospital were also damaged. Seventy five percent of the town of Thurman was damaged.
  • In Oklahoma, 19 tornadoes were confirmed. There were 6 fatalities and 54 persons injured throughout the state. The hardest hit communities were Norman, Woodward, Skiatook and Carter’s Landing.

Response by Church World Service, CWS Communions and CWS Partners:

CWS Emergency Response Specialists are in contact with response agencies to address to immediate needs for material goods such as Clean-up Buckets, blankets, and Hygiene Kits.

CWS Specialists are also collecting information about needs from state Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, known as VOADs, from interfaith communities and from faith leaders in the affected communities. CWS communions and partners are already moving resources and people to aid tornado survivors and to assist with cleanup activities.

As the communities move from the response phase to the recovery phase of the disaster, CWS will work with local, state and federal agencies to train and prepare the communities for their long term recovery. CWS, its communions and partners will provide training for construction management, volunteer management, emotional and spiritual care, case management and other specialized activities as needed. CWS will also provide grants to long term recovery committees to help them in the early stages of their activities.

CWS also continues to assist communities impacted by flooding and tornadoes earlier this year. CWS Emergency Response Specialist Bryan Crousore conducted trainings in eastern Kentucky this week in the towns of West Liberty, Paintsville and Louisa. Additional training is scheduled on May 2 in Marion, Illinois, where a tornado devastated the City of Harrisburg and other communities. More training is being scheduled in impacted communities as their Long-Term Recovery Committees are organized. CWS Long-Term Recovery Start Up grants will also be provided to these LTR Committees as needed.

CWS has provided emergency supplies worth more than $167,000 to storm-affected communities since February. Items shipped include Emergency Clean-up Buckets, blankets, School Kits, Baby Care Kits and Hygiene Kits. CWS made shipments to Birmingham, Alabama; Moundsville, West Virginia; and Garrett, Kentucky.

The following CWS Emergency Response Specialists can be contacted for information, to respond to material goods needs, for Long Term Recovery Start Up Grant applications, and for LTR information and training.

Joann Hale (917) 705-3038 jhale123@aol.com
States: ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, WV, VA, NC, FL and DC, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Bryan Crousore (515) 867-0612 bryancrousore@gmail.com
States: OH, KY, TN, MI, IN, IL, MO, IA, MN, KS, NE, SD, ND

Sandra Kennedy-Owes (251) 725-4262 skowes@churchworldservice.org

Kuulei Funn (808) 226-6432 kfunn@churchworldservice.org
States: CO, WY, MT, ID, UT, AZ, NV, WA, OR, CA, AK, HI, American Samoa and Guam


Goal is $110,000. Funds will be used for processing and shipment of material goods, for Long-Term Recovery Group Start-up Grants and for Long-Term Recovery Group training.

How to help:

Financial contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts around the world may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

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