Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday
said various state agencies in Alabama are in
contact with their counterparts in Oklahoma
to offer any assistance needed in the recovery from Monday's deadly
tornado. Governor Bentley also encouraged Alabamians to keep the people
in their prayers throughout the recovery.
"It's important for all of us to
continue to pray for the people of Oklahoma
and their leaders," Governor Bentley said. "We can identify with what the
people of Oklahoma
are going through. Our people understand what it means to comfort loved
ones, to support survivors and to help in the long-term recovery of
Governor Bentley said the Alabama
Emergency Management Agency has highly-trained disaster recovery teams ready to
serve in Oklahoma
as necessary. Also, the Alabama National Guard stands ready to help in Oklahoma if any guard
assistance is requested during the recovery process.
In addition, the Alabama
Department of Insurance has contacted the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner's
Office to offer any needed assistance. Following the April 2011
tornadoes, various insurance departments from across the country sent
representatives to Alabama
to help advise citizens on how to file claims. Representatives also
worked to answer questions from storm survivors on various insurance
matters. The Alabama Department of Insurance is ready to do the same for
the people of Oklahoma,
as needed, and will coordinate any requests through the Alabama EMA.
"My office is in contact with
Governor Fallin's office in Oklahoma,"
Governor Bentley said. "We know the people of Oklahoma
are facing an overwhelming challenge right now, and it may be some time before
the leaders in Oklahoma
are able to assess whether they need any direct assistance from our state
agencies. What we can say with certainty, though, is that we're ready to
help in any way we can. The people of Alabama
will stand strong with the people of Oklahoma."
Serve Alabama, the Governor's Office of
Faith-Based and Volunteer Service, has received several inquiries from citizens
wanting to know how to help. The most effective donations after disasters
are financial donations. Serve Alabama
has compiled donation information on various non-profit organizations that help
with disaster response. Information can be found online at www.servealabama.gov. Also,
information from the American Red Cross can be found at www.redcross.org.
It is important for civilians not
to "self-deploy" to Oklahoma
at this particular time.
"The immediate search and rescue
operation that is underway is critical to saving lives; however, when people
with good intentions self-deploy, they risk jeopardizing the mission and can
create unnecessary confusion within the disaster," Alabama EMA Director Art
Faulkner said. "Part of our responsibility at the Alabama EMA is to manage the
flow of resources internally as well as externally."
Instead of "self-deploying," officials recommend that any on-site volunteer efforts should be coordinated with established relief agencies. Volunteers Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a group of trusted agencies that work together to find opportunities for people to help. More information from VOAD can be found online through the VOAD links on the Serve Alabama website. VOAD will continue to provide updates throughout the recovery.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Governor's Press Office
1720 Valley View Drive