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Pamela Burdine
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Situation Report Update

April 2014 Tornadoes

Starting this past weekend and forecast to continue today and beyond, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes have hit numerous states in the U.S. Midwest and South and are heading to the East.  By Monday night, at least 17 states had been affected.

Because search and rescue operations are ongoing in many states, the available information is very preliminary. More details will be known as federal and state damage assessments are completed.  In addition, more tornadoes, severe storms and flooding are expected on April 29 and 30 as the massive weather system continues its easterly movement. 

John Robinson, PDA Associate for National Disaster Response, said that both public media and the national weather service are being monitored for the possibility of future damage.  PDA will reach out to any affected Presbyteries to offer assistance.

Among the impacted states:

  • North Carolina has seen one fatality, at least 15 people injured, and more than 200 homes destroyed across 6 counties.  Most of the destroyed homes are in the Chocowinity and Whichards Beach communities in Beaufort County.
  • In Arkansas, 15 people are confirmed dead and there have been numerous injuries.  Faulkner County was particularly hard hit, with 50 homes destroyed in Vilonia and more than 50 homes and a middle school destroyed in Mayflower.
  • In Mississippi, nine deaths are reported, six of them in Winston County.  Numerous buildings were destroyed in Tupelo, including the First Christian Church.
  • One death is reported Quapaw, in Ottawa County, Oklahoma.
  • At least one fatality is reported in Keokuk County, Iowa.
  • Tornadoes were reported in Cherokee, Bourbon and Linn counties in Kansas. The town of Baxter Springs in Cherokee County was particularly hard hit, with at least 34 persons injured and 91 homes destroyed or damaged.
  • In Tennessee, there are two fatalities and an as yet unreported number of injuries. 
  • Flooding has occurred in New Madrid, Campbell and Dunklin counties in southeastern Missouri. A total of 49 homes are reported to have major damage.
  • Other states have been impacted by tornadoes, flooding and high winds.

Early Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has been in contact with mid councils in the affected areas.  At the request of affected presbyteries, members of the National Response Team (NRT) have been sent to offer support in assessing the damage and developing a response to these storms.  

One of the National Response Team members is the President of the Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (MSVOAD) and has been helping at the Emergency Operations Center.

In support of survivors’ early needs, local partners and churches in the affected areas are being offered  Gift of the Heart Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits, School Kits, and blankets.

Thank you for your prayers and for your gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing that are already supporting the impacted communities. We ask that you continue to stand in the GAP as assessments are conducted and a fuller knowledge of need is identified.

How you can Stand in the GAP

Give.  Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000015-2014 tornadoes. Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. 


  • Like us on facebook (PDACares) and share the information with your congregation and others.
  • Although it is too soon for outside volunteers, volunteer work teams may be needed to help with rebuilding efforts. Contact the PDA Call Center at (866) 732-6121 to register your interest, and as needs are identified, you will be contacted so that your team can schedule a time to serve.
  • Prepare Gift of the Heart Kits.  Following large and widespread disasters, the supply of kits is quickly used, and replenishing the supply is essential.  Baby Care and School Kits are in shortest supply right now. 

Pray. Please pray for the success of those involved in rescue and early response efforts; and that through the response of the faith community, the people and communities impacted by the tornadoes and those offering assistance will be reminded of the faithful hope that is found in Christ

Read the initial response report

Information for this Situation report was provided by Church World Service.


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Upcoming Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Events

PHP Advisory Committee

March 30 - April 1, 2014

Presbyterian Hunger Program Advisory Committee meets March 30 - April 1, 2014, in New Orleans, LA, in conjunction with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Advisory Committee and Self-Development of People Steering Committee.

PDA Advisory Committee

March 30 - April 1, 2014

In a One Great Hour of Sharing Joint Meeting, The PDA Advisory Committee will meet in conjunction with PHP Advisory Committee and the SDOP Steering Committee March 30 – April 1 at the Omni Royal Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. Discussions will include the work and vision of each department, long term Presbyterian involvement, issues and generative thinking.  A mission site tour will be made, followed individual committee meetings, and PHP will visit grant partner, Latino Farmer’s Cooperative of Louisiana.

PDA Advisory Committee

Oct. 8 - 10, 2014

PDA Advisory Committee meets October 8–10 in Louisville.

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