The recovery efforts are just beginning for those in the path of the devastating tornadoes that tore through six states on Friday night. Local and national volunteers and aid groups are prepared to rescue and feed and give shelter to those who have been affected by the storms, which killed at least 90 people.
The tornado outbreak created almost unfathomable levels of destruction across Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, the authorities said. From a flattened candle factory in Kentucky to a ravaged Amazon warehouse in Illinois, the storms showed no mercy for those who were in its path. Kentucky in particular was hit hard by the storms.
Here are some ways you can help relief efforts.
Before you give, do your research.
Before you make a donation, especially to a lesser-known organization, you should do some research to make sure it is reputable. Sites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar grade nonprofits based on transparency and effectiveness. The Internal Revenue Service also allows you to search its database to find out whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. And if you suspect an organization or individual of committing fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud, part of the Justice Department.
CARE, an organization that works with impoverished communities, is collecting money to provide food, cash and clean water to the tornado victims.