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How You Can Help Disaster Survivors

Release date: 
March 9, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4419-AL NR004

CLANTON, Ala. – In the wake of a disaster, Americans have always come together with compassion and courage to ask how they can help survivors of catastrophic events like the March 3 tornado devastating Lee County.

Residents of Lee County who need help with clean up or other assistance should call 211.

“Support for residents of Lee County who sustained losses in the March 3 tornado outbreak has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated,” said Gerard M. Stolar, the Federal Coordinating Officer for the Alabama tornado disaster.

The fastest way to help – cash is best

Lee County is asking the public to be as generous as possible through monetary donations to the United Way of Lee County, earmarked for the March 3 tornado recovery. This ensures funds will go directly to trusted volunteer organizations working in the area and to help affected households.

This method gives these organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now. In addition, when these organizations purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local and regional economy, helping businesses recover faster.

For a list of supplies that are still needed for survivors call or text 211 or call the United Way at 1-888-421-1266.

You can send donations by mail to:

United Way of Lee County, Inc.
P.O. Box 3075
Auburn, AL 36831

Or call the United Way at:


Physical donations are being collected at:

Lee County Donation Management Warehouse 15691 Hwy 280 E.
Smiths Station, Ala.

Lee County opened a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) at Smiths Baptist Church, 2460 County Rd. 430, Smiths Station, Ala. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. A second VRC is open this weekend only at Sanford Middle School, 1500 Lee Rd. 11, Opelika, AL.

Upon arrival and registration, volunteers will receive a work order based on identified skills and attend a safety briefing. Each volunteer will be given a daily color-coded wrist band to allow access into the affected area. At the conclusion of the day’s work, volunteers should return to the VRC for check-out.

Please wear appropriate clothing, including closed toed shoes and long pants, and bring work gloves if you have them.

However you choose to give, be patient. Recovery lasts much longer than media attention. Recovery needs will continue for many months, often many years, after the disaster.


FEMA's mission is to help people before, during and after disasters.


Last Updated: 
March 9, 2019 - 17:48