Midwest Tornado Outbreak: Here's How You Can Help

By Sean Breslin
Published: November 19, 2013

Tornadoes ravaged small towns all over the Midwest on Sunday, killing several people and wounding far more. Neighborhoods were demolished and as the recovery ends, rebuilding dreams and lives will begin.

These people will need help for months or years as they try to get back on their feet from this devastating event, and if you are able, there's no shortage of ways to help.

(MORE: Communities Coming Together | This Reunion Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes)

Below are a few options for assisting tornado survivors from afar.

  • The American Red Cross is working to assist the communities ravaged by these storms, but they need donations to keep necessary supplies flowing to the residents of these towns. Twelve Red Cross shelters were opened in three states Sunday night, while meals, snacks and relief supplies will continue to be distributed as survivors rebuild their lives. To donate to the Red Cross, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit
  • The Salvation Army has mobilized crews to assist towns damaged by tornadoes. Text STORM to 80888 for a $10 donation or donate via their website.
  • The Northern Illinois Food Bank is also accepting donations, as they are sending trucks of food, water and other supplies to broken towns. You can text FOOD to 52000 to make a $10 donation or visit their website.
  • If you live in the area and have found photos that you'd like to reunite with the owner, a Facebook page has been set up to do that.
  • Operation Blessing has pledged relief to the tornado-affected areas, so to help them make that a reality, donations can be made on their website.
  • If you know of any missing pets or are seeking to be reunited with one, a Facebook page has launched to help.

MORE: Tornadoes Leave Devastated Towns, Lives

A person sorts the damage of a home in the Washington Estates subdivision in the aftermath of a tornado on Nov. 18, 2013, in Washington, Ill. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Featured Blogs

Another Record Rainfall in Southern France

By Christopher C. Burt
September 30, 2014

It is hard to believe that another rainstorm of equal intensity to that which I blogged about just 11 days ago has again struck the Languedoc Region of Southern France. This time the focus of the storm was centered over the city of Montpellier, Herault District, near the Mediterranean Coast.

QuikSCAT's Replacement, the RapidScat Ocean Wind Sensor, Installed on Space Station

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 30, 2014

A QuikSCAT replacement called ISS-RapidScat was successfully launched on September 20, 2014 on a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, which docked last week with the International Space Station (ISS.) This morning, astronauts on the ISS used the station's robotic arm to pluck RapidScat out of the Dragon and install it on the Space Station. RapidScat will measure near-surface winds over the ocean.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.