by Adam Ganucheau
Tornadoes ripping through Mississippi Friday night left at least 21 dead, dozens injured and a trail of destruction throughout the Delta and into the state’s northern region.
Photo gallery: Tornadoes devastate Mississippi towns
As the eyes of the nation turn to the Magnolia State, many readers have asked how they can help residents affected by the storms. We’ve compiled a resource page that includes information about how to give to organizations working to help Mississippians.
How to donate
Remember, experts routinely encourage donors to research organizations before giving money, especially in times of crisis. Local advocates and others who spoke with Mississippi Today, however, vouched for the organizations listed below.
- Volunteer Mississippi is sharing updates on local donation centers — mostly for supplies and clothing, not cash donations — on its Facebook page.
- United Way of West Central Mississippi is collecting donations of water at their office in Vicksburg. It is also accepting monetary donations on its chapter website, and organization leaders ask you specify “Rolling Fork” in the donation notes.
- The Community Foundation of Washington County covers the counties affected by the tornado. CFWC has been “boots on the ground” helping with long-term disaster recovery efforts in Washington, Sharkey, Issaquena and Humphreys counties since 2016. CFWC’s South Delta Disaster Recovery Fund ensures relief and recovery money stays local. Here is a link to where people can donate to the fund: https://cfwashco.org/donate-page/
Additionally, GoFundMe created a dedicated page for the recent Mississippi storms.
How to volunteer
If you are looking to volunteer time or resources, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials ask that you do not self-deploy but instead volunteer in coordination with Volunteer Mississippi. Click here to visit the Volunteer Mississippi website.
Shelters for victims
- National Guard Armory/Civic Center located at 19719 US Highway 61 in Rolling Fork.
- Humphreys County Multipurpose Building located 417 Silver City Road in Belzoni.
- Old Amory National Guard Building located at 101 S 9th St. in Amory.
The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and other nonprofit organizations will continue to offer food at these sites.
FEMA has made available federal assistance for affected individuals in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey counties. Individuals must visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362
The Mississippi Department of Human Services has allowed SNAP households that lost food to receive replacement food if they submit a MDHS-EA-508 form at their local MDHS office within 10 days of the disaster.
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid has enacted a state of emergency that allows affected Medicaid patients to receive early refills and additional prescriptions above the standard monthly limits.
The Mississippi Center for Justice offers “free legal services to the survivors who need an advocate to help them fight for a fair recovery following the aftermath of these devastating storms.”
Help local journalists
The Mississippi Press Association has established two separate funds to assist local journalism efforts in the state. It launched a GoFundMe page to assist the Deer Creek Pilot newspaper in Rolling Fork, and it reestablished its Local Journalism Relief Fund to assist journalists and outlets affected by the storms.
This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.