Catholic Charities of St. Louis is responding to the February 28, 2017 tornado near Perryville, Missouri in a coordinated effort to provide immediate assistance to victims.
The devastating tornado touched down around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, damaging homes, property and throwing vehicles off of Interstate 55. Tragically, at least one person lost their life and several more were injured.
“When disaster impacts our community, Catholic Charities of St. Louis is ready and willing to help those affected to rebuild their lives. We have been doing this for many years.” Theresa Ruzicka, President of Catholic Charities also said, “Recently we evaluated and restructured our disaster recovery approach to be better prepared for an incident like this and we are grateful to serve.”
During the New Year’s flooding in 2016, Catholic Charities worked with other disaster relief agencies to open Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC). “The MARCs were a tremendous resource for flood victims, helping connect them to a variety of services,” said Director of Service Integration Tyrone Ford, MSW, LCSW.
In response to this disaster Ford says “Catholic Charities will provide emergency financial assistance for basic needs, personal and household items and clean-up supplies.” In addition, relocation assistance will help survivors with security and utility deposits, moving and storage costs and occupancy fees.
An assessment team from Catholic Charities of Missouri is in Perry County evaluating the most critical needs of tornado victims and the best way for concerned St. Louisans to help. During a disaster, it is in our nature to rush to volunteer, to lend a hand or a shoulder to lean on.
But Aren Koenig, a Community Preparedness and Resiliency Project Manager cautions an uncoordinated surge of volunteers can distract the efforts of first responders and damage assessment teams. “The public’s help will be needed and when a structure is in place we will get the word out,” Koenig said. “In the meantime, please consider a financial contribution to Catholic Charities of St. Louis by mailing a check to P.O. Box 952393 St. Louis, Missouri 63195 and indicate ‘February 28 Tornado Relief’ in the memo line or visit www.ccstl.org and select the ‘February 28 Tornado Relief’ fund in the donate section.”