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Our View: How to help victims of tornadoes

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

It seems Mother Nature never ceases to amaze with her ferocity.

Her latest fury was unleashed Sunday, when severe storms and tornadoes ravaged the Midwest.

November tornadoes are a rarity around here. In Illinois, 194 tornado warnings have been issued in November since 1986, according to Tribune Newspaper’s Chicago Weather Center. Of those 194 warnings, 101 were issued Sunday.

Eighty reported tornadoes across the country. Six confirmed deaths in Illinois. Up to 200 people injured in Illinois. Countless number of homes destroyed.

On Monday, it was determined that two of the tornadoes that touched down had preliminary ratings of EF-4, with wind speeds between 170-190 mph. Those twisters wreaked havoc on southern Illinois near New Minden and on central Illinois near Peoria in Washington.

Closer to home an EF-2 tornado ripped through Grundy County near Coal City. Wind speeds there reached between 111-135 mph.

Thankfully, McHenry County was spared the worst of the destruction seen across the state. But our hearts and thoughts go out to those who were not as fortunate.

If you’d like to help fellow Illinoisans as they begin cleaning up after Sunday’s storms, here’s how:

• The Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross is mobilizing teams of volunteers to help those affected by the tornadoes. It says financial donations are the best way to help. You can donate money by calling 800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767) or visiting redcross.org online. Tell them you want your donation to go to the central Illinois tornado response.

• The Salvation Army is accepting donations to help provide relief supplies. You can make donations online by visiting http://shawurl.com/vlm, by texting STORM to 80888 and replying YES to confirm your donation of $10, or by sending a check designated “November Tornadoes” to: Attn: November Tornadoes, The Salvation Army, 10 W. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016-6000.

• The Heroes Memorial Foundation (heroesmemorial.org) is accepting donations to assist current or retired law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, military members or family members who are victims of this disaster.

If you have the means, please consider helping those who are suffering at the hands of Mother Nature.

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