Cleveland-based Operation Compassion began formulating strategy for relief efforts last week as soon as tragedy in Moore, Okla., became apparent.
The nonprofit agency quickly made contact with its disaster relief network of partners and made plans to mobilize as quickly as possible.
Warehouse employees began staging 25 semi-trailers of bottled water, blankets, food and cleaning supplies. The first of those semis began moving early Tuesday morning — less than a day after the EF5 tornado struck Monday afternoon.
In addition to supplying basic survival needs, disaster relief chaplains were deployed to help survivors navigate the emotional upheaval to their lives. Heavy equipment, cleanup crews and building partners left on Wednesday.
Also, several mobile canteens and cooking crews capable of cooking thousands of meals a day began leaving Thursday morning.
In addition, Southern Hills Church of God, located about seven miles from the hardest hit area; Riverlife Church of God, located in Moore, just two blocks from the epicenter; and five acres of land for heavy equipment off Interstate 35 were secured as staging areas for the disaster relief effort.
Operation Compassion was active in relief efforts in Granbury, Texas, the weekend before the tornado struck Oklahoma City and its southern suburbs.
The Granbury relief effort required three semi-trailers of critical relief supplies to local volunteers who distributed the supplies throughout the hardest hit areas.
Operation Compassion has made preparation to deliver food, water and cleaning supplies to volunteers in Shawnee, Okla., to a staging area at the Cross Community Church of God.
Operation Compassion has a long history of effective humanitarian relief.
What began as a mission to send food to hungry neighbors in disaster has become an operation of compassion with ongoing work in 26 countries and 38 states.
Through partnerships with corporations, charities and donors, they are able to purchase and distribute life-saving food, water, personal hygiene products, building supplies and other critical items helping to mitigate the suffering of the poor and those who have been through natural disaster. Additionally, their program networks ensure the delivery of these supplies right to the point of need.
For more information about Operation Compassion, visit www.operationcompassion.org.
Operation Compassion participated in relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeastern United States.
Locally, the organization participated in relief efforts at home, Georgia and Alabama after the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak.
In a different kind of relief effort, Operation Compassion teamed with People for Care and Learning and Kimberly-Clark Corporation to donate 172,800 diapers to DiaperLove of Bradley County to help local babies and mothers in need.