May 21, 2013 -- Concerned individuals who want to help in relief operations in Moore, Oklahoma, are urged to pray and not self-deploy to the affected area, in order to give first-responders time to complete their tasks of rescue and securing the area after especially violent storms yesterday afternoon.
Greg Forrester, executive in charge of US Disaster Response for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), joined the Oklahoma Conference in urging concerned persons to stay out of the way of first-responders who are still looking for survivors of a massive, EF-4 or EF-5 tornado that caused widespread destruction, deaths, and injuries in Moore yesterday afternoon.
"Well-meaning people who arrive on-scene to help in the immediate aftermath of an event like this tend to get under foot and unintentionally divert important resources. First-responders need time to do the work of locating survivors and securing the area," Forrester said, work that is still underway.
In a message posted to the Oklahoma Conference’s website, Richard Norman, the conference’s disaster response coordinator, underscored, "It will take time for emergency officials to assess the damages and for us to learn how we all can most effectively help meet needs."
Read the rest of the report on UMCOR's web page ...