Main Content

How To Help Tornado Survivors in Joplin, Mo. or Other States


Editor's note, June 2, 2011: Added Administrator Fugate's video about the best ways to help the people of Joplin.

To help manage the generous outpouring of support for Joplin, Mo., tornado survivors, disaster recovery experts have established some simple ways to help, whether volunteering or making donations.

Along with our partners at the Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, here are some specific ways to help those impacted by the recent storms and tornadoes.

Donate or Volunteer

  • The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency has established a web portal to coordinate donations and volunteers.  Keep in mind that cash is the preferred method because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover as well.
  • Those in Missouri can also call 2-1-1 in most areas for information on volunteering their time or making a donation.  This 2-1-1 service, operated by the United Way, is available through much of Missouri.  For those who are out of state or unable to get through on 2-1-1, call 1-800-427-4626. Those with medical skills interested in volunteering can go online at

    Remember,  unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.


  • Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 2-1-1, or 800-427-4626, or go to for a list of open shelters. For individuals with a hearing loss, call 7-1-1 or use Video Relay Service to reach 2-1-1 or 800-427-4626. 

Helping survivors in other states

  • For those who have been affected in Minnesota or other states outside Missouri or those who want to help can visit

Other Resources
If you or someone you know is looking for a friend or relative who may have been affected the storms, visit

Last Updated: 
06/19/2012 - 10:21


Is anything done in these situations to let trapped victims know that help is on the way? I'm thinking of a sound truck patrolling devastated streets, broadcasting a simple message over a loudspeaker such as "If you are trapped we are looking for you". It might seem obvious that a trapped person who is conscious would hear sirens, etc., and would know, but panic and despair can easily set in under the dire circumstances of a person trapped after a natural disaster. Such a simple act of communication could alleviate a victim's anxiety and possibly lead to a better outcome.

FEMA refuses to help the people of Glade Springs,VA after an EF-3 tornado pretty much destroyed the town and killed several people.

211-United Way is using the Joplin Tornado as a Fundraiser but provides little help or information. They profess low admin percentages but what do they do? Collect Money and give it out to others with another layer of administrative costs or two or three...??? Go Home

Please be aware onn June 12,2011(Sunday) FEMA trucks were traveling with full load of debris on Highway 71. The trucks' debris was not covered and debris was flying everywhere. Sharp debris almost hit 2 people. What is your policy on your trucks regarding coverage of debris??<br /><br />Please be aware that fungus is in the debris and the fungus is killing people. If your trucks are not covered then the fungus will mostly like spread with uncovered debris to outer areas.

I am a direct hit and survivor of the May 22nd tornado here in Joplin Mo. It has been well over six months since the Beast come through our town and devastated our lives. But whats even more devastating to me is where has all the money donated to this town from all over the United States gone. I have not seen one cent of it. I'm still without a home and without work. Even the so called relief centers are now no longer any help. One particular organization has questioned any faith I had for helping individuals. And has definitely answered what I was to believe all about helping people. I personally left Catholic Charities In tears after asking for some type of help. They are not who they portray to be. If you are someone who is or has graciously donated to this community I highly advise you to do some homework before doing so. Be sure you know exactly where your donation is going and how it is going to be used. God bless......

My husband and I were surviors of the storm, on May 22, 2011. We were in the hotspot where it hit, it was in our backyard. Over by St. Johns. We lived on Murphy.I dont like to talk about it cause it just brings it all back up, We lost everything in the storm, from shoes to vehicle. Our home was not totally taken, but there was some damage. We were renting from a friend, Windows were busted, our room was totally destroyed, roof. It was the most devasting thing Ive ever experienced. Ive lived here all my life. My husband and I moved from Murphy and now on Pennsylvania. The home we are in now was affected worse.No electrical, windows, inside was covered in debre and so forth, I spent days, hours and months on this place, still needs heat, windows, foundation work. My husband and I have done what we can to just make it since the devastion.And now we have 30days to move.The owner lives here, and is saleing the house, and I have ben told to contact you and see if we could or are available for a fema trailer. Who do I speak too, or where do I go. <br /><br />Sincerely yours,<br />Brandi Freeman<br />God Bless

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.