Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on May 26th, 2011,
by Zane Cagle

St. Louis Individuals Can Assist Joplin Tornado Victims Via Internet Efforts

Posted on May 26th, 2011 by Zane Cagle

Assisting Joplin Tornado Victims

If you have turned on a television or surfed the internet in the last week, you have become painfully aware of the tragic loss and devastation for our western communities in Joplin and surrounding areas. As sirens went off yesterday in St. Louis, many of us moved to safety remembering the images we have seen of the horror our friends and family are experiencing in Joplin. Many of you have been searching various internet sites looking for the names of friends/family and hoping to find them on safe check-in lists. It has filled many St.Louisians with a feeling of helplessness. However, while searching the internet for information, you can be helpful to the people of Joplin. According to CBS news, the internet has helped the Joplin survivors in many ways. This blog will attempt to share resources as a way for you to repost and act in order to help Joplin victims. Below are five ways the internet is assisting Joplin victims according to CBS:

  • The internet has quick information for donation sites and rescue efforts. Internet offers quick 24-hour access to frequently updated, current information as well as donation locations sites such as Red Cross, The Salvation Army and World Vision (just to name a few) to help tornado victims rebuild. You can also donate a cell phone for victims whose mobile devices were destroyed or lost. The ability to donate from your laptop or smart phone has sped the process up of aiding tornado victims and other victims of large scale tragedy at an unprecedented speed. Be careful to donate to reputable sites.
  • The internet has been a rich source for checking on victim’s status. Family and friends can look for their loved ones via internet check sites rather than a team being required to field endless, unfruitful calls to local law enforcement and first responder offices. Sites like this Joplin, Mo. Tornado Survivors page. And here’s one for people who can’t find their pets, Animals Lost & Found from the Joplin, Mo tornado.
  • Lost and found sites have been set up for victims as a result of the April 27, 2011 tornado in Alabama so that victims may attempt to recover lost items such as family pictures and keepsakes that may have blown hundreds of miles away. Patty Buillon created a Facebook page, Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes, where people can post pictures and items they found that were blown away by the tornado. She started it because she found some of these precious memorabilia on her own near the disaster area. There are now over 600 pictures on the page — 40 have been identified.
  • Tweetingimportant information. Relief Spark, a non-profit’s whose mission is to remodel schools, has turned their Twitter into a feed of valuable information for tornado survivors. Tweets are directing first responders to meeting places and posting when shelters have opened their doors to victims
  • Online resources continue to be updated and created. Those affected by the tornadoes can visit OzarksFirst.com, a local community site. They’ve put together a list of help hotlines, other useful phone numbers and important Web sites for volunteers, victims and loved ones. They can also visit the Facebook community, Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery, which also offers valuable information and support.

This blogger has noticed another way the internet is assisting tornado victims. It is through the frequent posting and reposting they are involved. As well, comments/conversation users make when interacting online promotes the visibility of credible, informative sites. The creation and popularity of a site such as Joplin Tornado Info occurred overnight to inform thousands simply by individuals “liking” the Facebook site. Therefore, you as an individual can help promote quality information by simply posting valuable sites on your websites, Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages and Twitter. Individuals can promote informative sites by “liking” them on Facebook or Plus One on Google, thus voting for that site and increasing the likelihood the site will come up quickly when someone does an informational search.

As mobility and technology increase, so does our awareness and accessibility to more communities. Victims of tragedies seem like they are more next door to us. You as an individual and consumer of information can truly help others through your search efforts on the internet. So help yourself feel less helpless by working on community engagement and information promotion by seeking worthwhile sites to aid victims. In this era of social media, individuals can regain some of the influence they may have perceived to have lost as the United States and world becomes so populated. Many people have the sense their one vote does not matter, however, this is simply not true. More than ever, one voice makes a difference. Individuals make a difference as we are a collection of our individual efforts.

We at The Cagle Law Firm encourage everyone to get involved in assisting our neighbors may they be in our city, Joplin or Sedalia areas. As recent storms have taken a personal and financial toll, each of you can contribute through direct volunteering at the site and donations. As well, use your individual power to share worthwhile knowledge/information and valuable sites with others. At this time, we all need to be rebuilding our neighborhoods and supporting our neighbors through positive actions. Contact The Cagle Law Firm for additional resources or questions at 1(314) 276-1681 or email us: jo@caglellc.com