Is There Hope in the Middle of Hell?

“There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.”

~ Leo F. Buscaglia ~

It looks like a scene from the middle of Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran – a bombed out warzone.  But instead of bombs, it was an EF4 tornado that ripped through the middle of America and desimated the lives of hundreds of people in Oklahoma. Entire housing blocks were razed, cars mangled beyond recognition and what remains are scraps of the lives of normal communities on what started out as a normal day.

Among the missing and the dead, children. These children went to school at Plaza Towers Elementary School; they laughed and ran and played on a playground that exists no more. Rescue workers worked through the night and are still working today to find those children who have not been located in the rubble.  I choose to believe there is hope for these children and their frantic parents.

People across the United States are pouring out their wallets, their closets and their homes to help those affected by this disaster. Facebook pages have been created to help people locate property that was dropped miles away from where they were originally housed. Photographs and documents that landed on the ground as so-called falling debris up to 100 miles away (at this point,) might look like detritus but are in fact irreplaceable artifacts or documents for somebody.   Facebook, Petfinder and other organizations are helping people find their furry babies and reunite them with their families.

Here are some of the community pages set up on Facebook at this time:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.477306085682757&type=1#!/MooreTornadoLostAndFound  -Moore Tornado Lost and Found

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.477306085682757&type=1 – Photos of Moore Oklahoma Tornado Pets Lost & Found

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o.477306085682757&type=1#!/MooreTornadoRelief – Moore Tornado Relief

And here’s the link for Petfinder. http://www.petfinder.com/ 

There are many other pages on Facebook designated to help those in Moore, Oklahoma try to rebuild their lives. There are also many more organizations around the area and the country taking donations.

Everyone is talking about how so many have died or were injured.  It could have been worse. Much worse.  Moore has 36 sirens in their community. These sirens in Moore, Oklahoma saved many lives.  Residents had 16 minutes to find shelter. If you haven’t experienced the process, the sirens sound once the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. They serve as a signal to turn on a television or radio to get more detailed information about the storm and instructions on how to seek shelter.  Most people that live in Tornado Alley know how it works. We are taught from a very young age what that sound is – what it means. 

I’ve lived in Tornado Alley, which encompasses 12 states, my entire life. As a child, the tornado drills in school prepared us for what “could” happen, but hasn’t occured here in Amarillo as long as I have been alive. I always assume when the sirens sound danger is moments away.  This is a danger I pray doesn’t happen any time soon.  And as the threat of more storms lay on the horizon, I pray none find their way to Moore, a town of 55,000 that has been decimated twice now by mother nature. I pray these survivors find peace and hope in the middle of hell.

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