Those affected by the May storms and tornadoes continue to be assisted by the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project nearly five months after the storms. The American Red Cross and its partners dedicated the recovery center in Shawnee on October 15 to a packed house.
“The office may be officially opening today, but we’ve been working hard for months helping families,” said Kami Kuykendall, Senior Director of Recovery with the American Red Cross. “We started reaching out to clients back in August for long-term recovery.”
The partnership is made up of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Society of St. Vincent DePaul and the Oklahoma United Methodist Church. It has offices in Shawnee, Moore and El Reno.
The Shawnee office will cover areas around Shawnee including Steelman Estates and Carney.
“Our case managers will be mobile and will be visiting clients at a more convenient location,” Kuykendall said.
So far, there are over 400 open cases with long-term case management. The group has identified over 2,500 total cases for long-term needs. Case managers are actively reaching out to these individuals and families as well as helping those who walk into the offices or call the help line.
“Our call center is still getting around 60 calls a day from those intermediate help,” Kuykendall said. “The Red Cross and its partners are working to make sure gaps are filled.
For those still needing assistance, they should call 1-866-477-7276. For non-disaster related social service needs, call 211.
In addition to case management, the Red Cross is working with community groups, long-term recovery committees and other non-profit organizations to help communities recovery from the May storms and tornadoes. Some projects include gift cards presented to teachers with Moore, Mid-Del and El Reno schools to replace lost personal classroom items, repairing the Steelman Estates water well and preparedness education to local girl scouts.