To date, the Oklahoma Strong Disaster Relief Fund has raised approximately $4.4 million. Gov. Mary Fallin, in coordination with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, has established the fund to assist with long-term needs of victims devastated by the May tornadoes.
According to Bella, from May 19-May 31, Red Cross responded to 19 storms. During that time, there were 12 Red Cross shelters that provided 6,500 overnight stays for individuals displaced by storms, and 45 emergency vehicles distributed food, cleanup items, sunscreen and more.
“About mid July, we started our response phase slowing down and started our long-term phase. They overlap a little bit; we have to do that in ensure there is not a gap in service,” Bella said. “As we headed in the long-term recovery phase, we knew we were looking at probably an 18 month to two year project, if not longer just based on our dealings with other communities. For instance, we’ve been visiting with folks in Joplin. The Red Cross in Joplin is three years out and they still have long term recovery.”
According to Bella, as of date, $38 million has been raised by Red Cross.
Bella vowed that the Red Cross would remain in the community to help those impacted by the May tornadoes.
“We have been here since the beginning and we will be here in the future,” Bella said.
Bella also added that more than $300,000 of Red Cross funds went to teachers to help rebuild their classrooms.
In addition to other agenda items, Moore city council members approved an agreement with Barrett L. Williamson Architects Inc. for Phase 1 master planning of a new animal shelter in the amount not to exceed $16,420.
The Moore city council will meet again on Sept. 16.