LADY LAKE, Fla. - Less than 24 hours after a devastating tornado and storms swept through central Florida, Operation Blessing trucks and relief teams were on-site to distribute food and other emergency aid to residents.
The tornado, which is responsible for the deaths of 20 residents, also heavily damaged or destroyed at least 1,500 homes in the four counties affected, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, told reporters.
To date, OBI has distributed more than 87,000 pounds of food from their Ocala, Fl., warehouse, set up two mobile kitchens and dispatched a construction crew, crane and a disaster relief work trailer full of chain saws and other equipment to begin critical clean-up work in three of the hardest hit counties.
OBI is working in partnership with 10 local churches and disaster relief agencies, including Lady Lakes Church of God, FEMA, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Compassion Tampa and Intensive Care Ministries, to support relief distribution staging sites and volunteer base camps.
On Monday, more than 600 victims received aid from the Lady Lakes site.
"You see it in the news, but being here and seeing the terrible impact in real time just hits you," said Jody Herrington, OBI's U.S. director of disaster relief.
How You Can Help
As Operation Blessing and partners continue to assess the damage and disaster relief needs of Florida residents, you can help bring relief, right now, to these victims of disaster by making an online donation toward OBI's Florida tornado relief efforts.