Disaster Brief: Midwest Tornadoes

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Midwest Tornado Responses

AmeriCorps St Louis Responds in Perryville, MO

AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team members coordinate spontaneous volunteers in Perryville, MO

Perryville, MO

On Tuesday, February 28, Perryville, MO was struck by an EF3 tornado damaging nearly 200 homes.  National service was on the ground serving this community within hours.  RSVP, a Senior Corps program, assisted with establishing and supporting disaster shelters for those displaced by the tornado and recruited more than 150 volunteers.  AmeriCorps St. Louis almost immediately began establishing a Volunteer Reception Center, coordinating more than 3,000 volunteers in less than a week. This AmeriCorps team have assisted homeowners with registering for volunteer assistance, dispatching volunteer groups, and leading spontaneous volunteers in cleanup from the tornado.

Ottawa, IL

The same severe weather outbreak responsible for the Perryville, MO tornado also produced an EF3 tornado in the northern Illinois city of Ottawa.  AmeriCorps St. Louis deployed members to coordinate homeowner damage assistance requests, dispatch work orders to voluntary organizations providing debris removal and minor home repairs, and provided technical assistance for volunteer and homeowner needs intake assistance to local community organizations. 

Kansas City Metro Area, MO

On Monday, March 6th, the Kansas City metro area experienced additional severe weather including an ESF3 tornado which hit Oak Grove, MO.  This tornado left a 14 mile path of destroyed homes and caused widespread power outrages to the town of 8,000.   Damage assessments are ongoing, with local media reporting that over 400 homes are affected with debris damage, power and water outages.  AmeriCorps St. Louis and local Senior Corps RSVP volunteers are responding by supporting local humanitarian aid coordination and Volunteer Reception Center operations. 


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Get Ready for Spring: Tornado Preparedness


With flowers soon to bloom and the temperatures warming, tornadoes and severe weather outbreaks are also expected.  It's time to get prepared, especially if you live in a thunderstorm and tornado-prone area.  

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Check out Read.gov for more information on how to be prepared.

TN Wildfire Response Update

AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRTs) from AmeriCorps St. Louis, Washington Conservation Corps, and NCCC (Pacific, Southern, and Southwestern campuses) have been responding to the East Tennessee wildfires since December.

This response operation has focused on supporting local emergency management with volunteer operations, call center and data base management, homeowner assistance, volunteer and donations management, and technical support and capacity building to local agencies to support their long term recovery efforts. 

To date A-DRTs have:

  • Leveraged more than 12,130 volunteers providing over 33,500 hours of service.
  • Conducted  over 4,600 homeowner needs assistance intakes.
  • Surveyed and mapped nearly 1,000 addresses for local emergency management.