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How to help in the tornado aftermath

Published: Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:20 a.m. MDT

Lea Bessinger salvages a picture of Jesus as she and her son Josh Bessinger sort through the rubble of the elder Bessinger's tornado-ravaged home Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. A huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening an entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Associated Press

What one meteorologist is calling the "biggest, most destructive tornado in the history of the world" touched down Monday in Moore, Okla., demolishing homes and two schools and killing at least 24.

President Obama has pledged federal aid to the Oklahoma City suburb, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has said any aid must be offset by budget cuts. Meanwhile, national, international and local organizations have assembled in the region to search, help and rebuild.

Here are some ways those in other areas can help.

U.S. News has a list of 16 organizations that are providing aid, including OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund, Donors Choose (to help teachers and classrooms affected), Direct Relief and many others. The Huffington Post lists 12, including Samaritan's Purse, Team Rubicon (to provide home repair) and Save the Children, which provides kits to displaced children.

KFOR has a list of places offering temporary housing to tornado victims.

Donations can also be made by mobile device. To donate $10 to the Salvation Army, text "storm" to 80888. To donate $10 to the Red Cross, text "redcross" to 90999.

As always, before donating, look for signs of scams and look over the Federal Trade Commission's charity checklist to avoid unwise donations.

EMAIL: kbennion@deseretnews.com, TWITTER: @katebennion

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