The Norman Transcript

Letters

June 27, 2013

Learning a lesson in humility

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I came from Edgecomb, Maine, as a disaster mental health worker for the Red Cross to help in the Oklahoma tornadoes relief.

Upon my arrival May 27, the damage witnessed was more than one could have imagined. Miles and miles of devastation: homes, businesses, schools and even a hospital all destroyed or damaged beyond belief. Homes, cars, trucks and trees were left as piles of rubble and debris in every direction.

My deployment began in Shawnee as a team member going out in the community to help homeowners and citizens in their environment. Shortly thereafter, I was assigned to Westmoore High School in Moore.

Moore is the community that was ambushed by the EF-5 tornado May 20, suffering major devastation. The high school became the Multiple Agency Resource Center.

The MARC was one of four resources in Oklahoma helping people recover and begin to heal from their losses.

Losses included loved ones: spouses, children, relatives, neighbors and pets. Losses also included homes, cars and possessions of all kind, ranging from sacred items to every belonging owned.

While there, we experienced four more tornadoes from May 28 through May 31.

Volunteers were exposed to the threat of destruction and physical harm from winds more than 200 mph, massive thunder and lightning, plus six inches of rain, which only served to hamper movement and created emotional crisis, anxiety and fear for volunteers and storm survivors alike.

Our work at the MARC was the process to helping victims begin their recovery by assisting from the initial registration and progressing through exploration of the various resources at their disposal.

On average, 25 agencies provided services to these needy victims: Red Cross, FEMA, Catholic Charities, Southern Baptist Ministries, Salvation Army, Veterans Affairs, Vet Centers, Oklahoma Housing Authority, local counseling agencies, food banks, shelters and local churches of all denominations.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Necessary services may be reduced

    Editor, The Transcript: There were criticisms of the Oklahoma Senate bill for a test project to privatize management of Medicaid; however, no one mentioned a critical issue of reduced services for the more needy of our society....

    April 20, 2014

  • Enforcement not the issue

    Editor, The Transcript: The government is legally right in the U.S. Government vs. Bundy Ranch matter....

    April 20, 2014

  • Family thanks community, takes issue with photo

    Editor, The Transcript: As I write this, it’s been almost eight weeks since Feb. 17, the day my family’s home burned in a fire. We lost our 15-year-old cat, Misti; 7-year-old dog, Sully; 3-year-old rescue squirrel, Rocky; almost 2-year-old ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Frackers should use gray water

    Editor, The Transcript: As reported by Joe Wertz in the March 31 issue of StateImpact Oklahoma, Finley Resources, a Texas-based oil drilling company, has arranged with the city of Norman to buy Norman’s drinking water from hydrants to use ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Columnists have it wrong

    Editor, The Transcript: I typically enjoy Class Act (the Q&A with school counselors published on Fridays) very much. I think they bring a rational and empathetic response to parents’ concerns when it comes to the challenges students and ...

    April 8, 2014