Every state seems to have its own monster under the bed. In New York and New Jersey – hurricanes. In California – earthquakes and wildfires. In Oklahoma – tornadoes. And every time we see one of these disasters, we can’t help but think: could I go into a collapsed school and rescue someone?
If I came home and found nothing but the concrete slab – how would the family eat? Where would we sleep?
Here’s how Moore, Oklahoma answered that question.
“If you listen to local radio around here, people are calling in and saying, ‘I have a home, how can I help? Where can I donate?'” says CBS’s Norah O’Donnell.
On KFOR TV, Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan directed people to relief centers which had popped up where?
“In places that you might not think,” says Maughan. “Resthaven Funeral Home has got a great community center there; the Yellow Rose Theatre right here in Moore on 12th Street(sic) is also providing for people who cannot get back into their neighborhoods.”
What’s happening is that people are improvising – and it must be working, because when I contacted the Red Cross spokesperson and asked how many people were in shelters – she told me that the night after the storm there were 29.
There’s already speculation that the need in Oklahoma is so great, that some members of Congress might insist on finding ways to offset the costs. But you listen to teacher Jennifer Doane – who was buried with her classroom, and even now in the hospital, is still in despair that she couldn’t save more of her children.
“He just kept telling me that he couldn’t breathe, and he didn’t want to die,” cried Doane.
I can’t imagine anyone who would want to use this as a reason to rehash the budget debate.