Samaritan’s Purse Responding to Devastating Tornados in Midwest

Disaster Experts Arrive in Illinois; Relief Equipment En Route

Disaster relief specialists from the North Carolina-based Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse have arrived in Illinois, where tornados on Sunday caused extreme destruction, to assess affected areas and determine where help is most needed.

A Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief Unit is also en route from the organization’s headquarters and is traveling overnight from North Carolina to Illinois. The tractor-trailer is stocked with chainsaws, heavy-duty plastic tarps, generators and other tools and supplies and is expected to arrive Tuesday. The rig will serve as the team’s command center for disaster relief work in the coming days.

"When a natural disaster strikes, we are committed to helping victims in hard-hit communities," said Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham. "Our goal is to not only lend victims a helping hand in the cleanup efforts but to provide emotional support and let them know that God loves them."

Since the storm hit, staff members have been in contact with local emergency management officials as well as churches in the affected areas. Samaritan's Purse has a national network of volunteers ready to help clean debris, cut fallen trees, salvage belongings, put tarps on damaged roofs, and provide comfort to victims.

The organization is also in the midst of a significant response to typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. On Friday, a 747 cargo jet airlifted approximately 100 tons of emergency relief supplies—food, plastic sheeting for shelter, medical equipment and water filtration systems—to the Philippines where it will be distributed by staff on the ground to those in need.

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization that has helped more than 27,000 families in 31 U.S. states following hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and ice storms. Earlier this year, Samaritan's Purse provided aid to victims impacted by tornados that struck Moore, Oklahoma, and Granbury, Texas.

To volunteer with Samaritan's Purse, go to www.spvolunteernetwork.org. Donations to help tornado victims can be made at www.samaritanspurse.org.

-30-