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Direct Relief Sends Aid To Tornado Ravaged States

Nonprofit Sending Personal Care Items, Medications To Tornado Victims

GOLETA, Calif. - Dozens of tornadoes are blamed for nearly 30 deaths across four states.

As entire communities try to pick up the pieces, Direct Relief in Goleta is trying to do what it can to help.

Direct Relief keeps an eye on weather conditions across the country and even warned their partner clinics in the areas devastated by the tornadoes that the storms were coming.

Over the past few days, lives were lost, hundreds injured and neighborhoods leveled.

"It was like roaring freight train for 20-30 seconds and then after that it was calm," said Tim Lee, a Mayflower, Ark. resident.

Many families were left with only the rubble that was their home.

Direct Relief is helping with sending over some of the most basic necessities -- "things like soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, toothpaste," said Damon Taugher, the Direct Relief director of U.S. programs.

Personal care items and medications are being packed up and shipped off to people who've lost everything.

"The stories we're hearing are very devastating. Communities are going to take a long time to rebuild and recover. And this effort is just so vast -- from Mississippi to Arkansas to Ohio, there's just a wide range that we are helping to support," said Taugher.

Communities are cleaning up the mess and bracing for more storms as tornado season gets underway.

"This is something we can see going on for weeks if not months," said Taugher.

Once power is restored to areas hit by the tornadoes, Direct Relief expects to get even more email requests for aid.

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