AUGUSTA, Maine — In the aftermath of the devastating Oklahoma tornadoes, Gov. Paul R. LePage and the Maine Emergency Management Agency remind Mainers that the best way to help with recovery efforts is to support the voluntary agencies working in the disaster area with monetary donations.
“When we see the pictures of the devastation in Oklahoma, we immediately want to help,” the governor said in a press release. “We need to focus that generosity in a way that can be effective immediately. That means supporting the agencies that are already active in the relief effort. ”
Monetary donations enable the relief agencies to purchase items locally as they are needed. This cuts down on transportation costs, helps the local economy and allows the agencies to meet the rapidly changing needs in the disaster area.
“There are many relief organizations already working in the disaster area,” MEMA Director Rob McAleer said in the release. “We urge all those who want to help to pick up a phone, send a check or visit a website to make a cash donation.”
The United Way of Central Oklahoma has activated a Tornado Relief Fund. Proceeds will be distributed to United Way partner agencies working on tornado relief. Donations may be made three ways:
- Give online to the May Tornadoes Relief Fund located on the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s home page at http://www.unitedwayokc.org. If you are having trouble donating online:
- Give by credit card: Call 405-523-3598, 405-523-3597, or 405-236-8441.
- Give by mailing a check to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with notation for May Tornado Relief.
For those wishing to donate to a specific relief group, the National Donations Management Network maintains a list of voluntary agencies working in Oklahoma, including local faith-based groups and well-known national organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, at:
These volunteer agencies provide a wide variety of services after disasters, such as clean up, childcare, housing repair, crisis counseling, sheltering and food.
Gov. LePage also said that Maine will monitor any requests from Oklahoma that are made under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a mutual-aid agreement among states.
“If there is a request that Maine can meet, we will offer our help,” the governor said.
Under EMAC, Maine sent trained teams to Vermont after Hurricane Irene and to New York and New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy.