TALLAHASSEE — Emergency officials from across Florida stand ready to assist those affected by the Oklahoma tornado.
The state medical examiner's office in Oklahoma has revised the death toll from a tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb to 24 people, including nine children.
Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm. Authorities said initially that as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.
Elliott says nine children are confirmed dead, including seven who were pulled from the wreckage of an elementary school in Moore, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Teams are continuing to search the shattered community after the Monday afternoon tornado.
The Florida State Emergency Response Team is in communication with emergency officials in Oklahoma and is working through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support response efforts.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by yesterday’s tornado in Oklahoma,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Our teams are actively working through the proper channels to support the survivors and first responders as they work to respond to and recover from this devastating event.”
Governor Rick Scott reached out to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin on Tuesday.
“This morning I reached out to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and offered the heartfelt condolences of Floridians for families in the City of Moore whose community was devastated by yesterday’s tornado,” Scott said.
“Florida is offering to help Governor Fallin with the recovery by providing any state resources we can to help get this community back on its feet. These families desperately need our prayers and support, especially as they continue the search for their loved ones. Americans help one another — especially in times of crisis — and I encourage Floridians to open their hearts and support credible organizations that are working to make this community whole again.”
All Floridians can help the survivors of this event by donating through established relief organizations. Donating cash through established relief organizations allows for versatility to meet needs as they arise. If you have goods to donate, be sure to confirm the need through a relief organization before donating.
“The best way people can help is to send a cash donation to an established relief agency,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman. “Material donations have to be sorted and transported, which can create more work for emergency responders. Cash is versatile, effective and meets survivors’ needs as quickly as possible.”
Floridians who wish to assist those impacted by the Oklahoma tornado are encouraged to follow the “3 C’s” Cash, Confirm, and Connect.
CASH — Financial gifts are the best way to immediately help survivors. Donate to an established relief organization. For a complete list of established relief organizations, visit: www.nvoad.org/members.
CONFIRM — A community hit by disaster does not have the time, staffing or money to dispose of unneeded donations. Confirm any and all donations are needed before sending.
CONNECT — Volunteers are a critical part of disaster response and recovery, but it is important to get connected to an established relief organization before traveling to impacted areas to help.
For more information about how severe weather can affect Florida, and to Get A Plan!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org,