In the hours after the tornado tore through Moore back in May, nearly 400 National Guardsmen went to the scene to search for survivors, clear roads and watch for looters. One of those soldiers was Major Dave Mackey.
“I had an aunt and uncle that they lost everything. As a matter of fact, I didn't even go over there for many days just 'cause I didn't know how it would make me feel,” he said.
Ever since last spring’s tornado that destroyed two elementary schools and killed seven children in Moore, it’s been hard to escape the debate over school shelters. There are petitions circulating around the state, and everyone seems to have an opinion on the issue. KGOU recently held a panel about funding these shelters and discovered people are approaching this differently than they did following the Moore tornado in 1999.
When a series of tornadoes battered Central Oklahoma last spring, close to 4,500 houses were damaged or destroyed. Six months later, many organizations are helping rebuild these homes and restore normalcy to the affected families. One of those organizations, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, has just finished its first home for one couple affected by the storms.
Six months after a series of tornadoes tore through the Oklahoma City area, we’re looking back this week at the role of private donations in the recovery effort.
Whenever a disaster strikes, Oklahomans and people from across the country generally pitch in and do whatever they can to help. But in the final part of our series, we find despite people’s best intentions, oftentimes the help that arrives is not the help that’s needed most.
Six months after tornadoes devastated the Oklahoma City area, we’re looking back this week at the role of private donations in the recovery effort.
When the storms hit, the media were some of the greatest sources for information. They assumed authority, provided immediacy and acted as a clearinghouse for the influx of data. But in part two of our series today, we investigate whether the media’s response was as efficient as it seemed to be.
Six months after a series of devastating tornadoes touched down in Central Oklahoma, we’re taking a look back this week at the recovery effort. In the aftermath of the storms, private charities raised close to $70 million, and tens of millions more in in-kind donations poured into the region. But some of that aid was more helpful than others.
In part one of our series today, we look at local businesses who donated their proceeds and the balance between good public relations and an altruistic desire to help.
Katie Western practices her lines for the upcoming National Weather Festival. She’s majoring in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is one of the festival’s Weather Friends, a group of superheroes representing each kind of severe weather. Katie’s character goes by the name “Swirl Girl.” She’ll run around in a costume and answer questions about tornado preparedness. And even though it’s fun, Katie realizes her role may be more important this year than it has been in years past.
Kathy Turner works with Take Shelter Oklahoma. The group wants to build safe rooms to protect students from tornadoes like the one that destroyed Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools in Moore. Turner says her experience as a former school administrator showed her how important government funding can be.
Kristy Yager is the Public Information Officer for Oklahoma City. She’s used to creating game plans for emergencies. So when May 20 came, she made her way to a bunker with emergency managers, police and a handful of city officials. She’d prepared for the crisis as best she could, but found herself overwhelmed trying to handle the influx of media requests.
“The minute that tornado hit the ground, I started getting national phone calls from everyone, from Fox, from CNN, from ABC, NBC, CBS,” Yager said. “I was having a very hard time managing the calls.”