This out of control helpless feeling fell over the heartland of America on Monday afternoon shortly before 3:00 p.m.
News quickly broke of the destruction that Mother Nature had unleashed on an area often called “tornado ally”.
Moore, Oklahoma experienced the second devastating tornado in that area in the past 15 years. The first, categorized as an F5, tore through Moore in May of 1999.
Many Americans watched in horror as young children were believed to be lost in the safe haven that was once their school. It now only resembled a pile of twisted debris.
Thoughts of other recent tragedies such as the shootings Sandy Hook elementary, the bombings at the Boston Marathon, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy often leave us feeling helpless.
Most humans have a natural inclination to combat that feeling of helplessness with action. This has been felt throughout history.
May 21, 1881, an “Angel of the Battlefield”, known as Clara Barton was already familiar with the need to help. As a nurse, she worked tirelessly to aid the sick and wounded in the Civil War. Barton’s dedication in helping others and providing humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters led to her establishing the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross was established congruently with the mission and goals of the International Red Cross.
This organization still leads the charge today in helping when Americans need it most.
Throughout its history the Red Cross has become synonymous with disaster relief.
While we all sat in horror glued to news reports and social media updates praying for the safety of those in Oklahoma, the American Red Cross was already springing into action.
The American Red Cross quickly opened several shelters in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles began delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas.
The Red Cross is also working to link loved ones in Moore who are OK through a website called Safe and Well.
Most Americans laid their heads to rest last night, hugged their families a little tighter, and tried not to think of the possibility that it could all be lost in an instant like it was in Oklahoma.
The helpless feeling after such a disaster usually remain especially with constant media coverage.
Experts agree that you can curb that sense of helplessness by taking action.
Most Americans cannot get in their cars to aid in relief efforts, but there are other ways to take action.
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.
You can also use your social media outlets to spread disaster awareness and get others to pledge their support to the efforts of the Red Cross.
Participating in local Red Cross Blood drives is also a great way to help out.
A spokesperson for the Red Cross also reminds us that we should remember the Red Cross when estate planning and continue to help our local Red Cross communities even when there is not a disaster.
“Each of us as human beings has a responsibility to reach out to help our brothers and sisters affected by disasters. One day it may be us or our loved ones needing someone to reach out and help.”-Michael W. Hawkins, American Red Cross