After the latest in a string of devastating storms slammed Oklahoma Monday afternoon, relief agencies and government officials took to the Web to provide news and opportunities to help.
Throughout Monday night and into Tuesday morning, terms such as #Oklahoma, #OKC, #Moore, Red Cross, and #PrayForOklahoma were trending topics on Twitter as people expressed their heartache and desire to help after a huge tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Okla.
Officials feared as many as 91 people died as a result of the storm, the latest in a string of tornadoes to hit Oklahoma this month.
The American Red Cross communicated its efforts quickly Monday, posting a statement on its website
about its plan of action.
“More than 25 emergency response vehicles are positioned to move at first light Tuesday, and we expect that the number will increase,” the message states. “The Red Cross is also sending in kitchen support trailers to support the upcoming operation to provide meals to those forced out of their homes.”
The statement also directs people to the Red Cross tornado app
, which offers a shelter map and a quick way for users to let friends and family know they’re safe.
The Red Cross was also tweeting status updates
regularly throughout Monday evening and Tuesday morning. A tweet from the Oklahoma Red Cross directing people to text REDCROSS to the number 90999 to make a $10 donation to victims was retweeted more than 12,500 times.
AT&T offered a similar tweet:
Representatives of other relief efforts tweeted links
to their own fundraising pages.
The City of Moore also tweeted updates throughout the evening, responding to reports of trapped people
, directing residents to the Red Cross’ “safe and well” page
, and offering up a link to email updates
The National Weather Service’s office in Norman, Okla., did its communicating via both Twitter
. Most of its posts were time-stamped reports on the ongoing weather situation, though one did direct readers to a Facebook clearinghouse
for information about the storm and its aftermath.
For its part, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
stayed quiet Monday evening and early Tuesday morning. Its last tweet was May 17, and its Facebook page
hasn’t been updated since April. The social-media voice of the state government would seem to be Gov. Mary Fallin
, who tweeted about how to aid victims
and gave reports from the ground in Moore.
With pictures of the devastation on a constant loop on TV, people using social media also looked for glimmers of hope. They took it where they could Tuesday morning, with stories such as this one:
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.