The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 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

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014

Video
Facebook