How to help victims of the Midwest tornadoes

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Tornadoes disrupted the Midwest on Sunday, damaging hundreds of homes, leaving many without electricity, and killing at least six people while injuring many more

Thousands of individuals were affected by power outages during the aftermath of the storms that ravaged and ripped through several cities and communities. 

But by 4:18 a.m., Ameren Illinois restored power to over 115,000 consumers.

During a press conference Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois reflected on the devastation left behind by the tornadoes, calling them the "deadliest tornadoes that we've ever had in the month of November in Illinois history," according to NBC Chicago. 

Below is a list of resources provided through American Red Cross chapters in the Midwest as well as other relief organizations:  

NEARBY SHELTERS

The American Red Cross provides free resources, shelters, sustenance and health services, during major disasters. It has set up several open shelters throughout the Midwest. Individuals can utilize this map—updated by the National Shelter System—to track the nearest shelter. Check the Chicago Red Cross's Twitter handle for the latest updates:  

The Central Illinois Chapter has opened up three additional shelters to help those affected by the tornadoes and wreckage in central Illinois. Food, water and other services will be provided at the following church locations, according to the chapter: 

Crossroads United Methodist Church – 1420 N. Main St in Washington
Evangelical United Methodist Church – 401 Main St in Washington
First United Methodist Church – 154 E. Washington St in East Peoria
Avanti's Dome – 3105 Griffin Avenue in Pekin

For more information, please call the Central Illinois Chapter at 309-677-7272.

In the wake of the tornadoes, ten Illinois National Guard firefighters started a search for victims and survivors while assessing the damages for dozens of homes. In Plainfield, Ill., one firefighter has launched a donation drive for those in Washington and Coal City, reports Plainfield Patch

Donations can be dropped off between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday at Plainfield Fire Station #1, 14415 S. Coil Plus Dr. (at 143rd Street and Van Dyke Road).

Donations are also being accepted at:

Troy Fire Station 1,  700 Cottage St., Shorewood
Oswego Fire Station 1, 3511 Woolley Rd., Oswego
Channahon Station 2, 23351 McClintock Rd., Channahon

SOCIAL MEDIA, MOBILE APPS TO TRACK TORNADOES 

The American Red Cross has launched a free Tornado App to help people prepare for major disasters and tornadoes. The American Red Cross suggests calling "**REDCROSS" (**73327677). From there, the Red Cross will send a link where you can download the app directly to your phone, or you can download it directly through the iTunes or Google Play app stores. 

Here is a list of a few Twitter handles to monitor: 

DONATING TO TORNADO VICTIMS 

The American Red Cross - Central Illinois Chapter's Facebook page suggests calling 1-800-RED-CROSS and to specify that you will be donating to central Illinois tornadoes. Or, you can visit redcross.org.

 
 
 

Those interested in donating $10 via mobile phone can also text the word "redcross" to the number 90999.

The Salvation Army is also responding to the damage left behind by the tornadoes. For those who would like to donate to those affected by the disaster, the organization suggests visiting www.disaster.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
 

You may also help The Salvation Army now by texting “SAnow” to 80888 to make a $10.00 contribution to the relief effort.   The donation will appear on your next phone bill.  Reply “Yes” to complete your gift.  Text STOP to 80888 to stop; Text HELP to 80888 for help.

 

With contributions by Monica Luhar

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