Photo Credit: USA TODAYGrowing up in the midwest, it wasn't uncommon to hear tornado sirens.

Tornadoes there are like earthquakes in California.  It happens all the time. 

But usually they're just the small ones.  Ones that don't really do any damage other than causing a stir..and a siren or two.

But just like the Northridge Earthquake in 1994....the big ones come when you least expect it.

I remember, in 1995 being in a tornado.

It was 'senior skip day'.  The day that 'legally' we were allowed to miss right before graduation.

My parents were at work.  And my little sister was at school.

And I was home.  Alone.

Courtesy / Associated PressNeedless to say-it turned out to be a small one.  But I remember plain as day taking the batteried radio, cordless phone (didn't have cell phones then) and hiding under our basement stairs.

Living here on the east hear of tornadoes.  But NONE are even CLOSE to comparison as they are in the midwest.

And the video coverage proves it.

Part of me feels guilty that I gawk at these.  And this one was the one that sent me over the top.

Joplin, Missouri isn't too far from my hometown.  Not to far where my parents quietly sleep in a small log cabin.  Out in the country. 

I feel for those people.

I cry for their families.  For them.  For their loss. 

I know Joplin is a lot like Waterloo (my little hometown.)  A small town...where blue collar families work their lives off just to have  roof over their heads. 

And for many of them?  That roof is now gone.

Life is so short.

And just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz...Click your heels together and remember....

"There's No Place Like Home."


According to meteorologists, it's the deadliest single tornado to strike the country in more than 60 years. According to reports in the, one-third of the city was destroyed by the 190 mph tornado.

From Oklahoma to Wisconsin, the Joplin twister was one of 68 reported tornadoes across seven Midwest states over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.


First up, the Red Cross encourages people to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are safe by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). From a smartphone, visit and click on the "List Yourself as Safe and Well" or "Search for Friends and Family" link.

- The Community Foundation of Kansas City has created two funds to pool donations, which you can make donations to online - the Joplin Missouri Disaster Relief Fund and the Reading Kansas Disaster Relief Fund. Community Foundation staff will perform the due diligence to ensure that grants from both funds are awarded to organizations addressing the immediate needs of the victims of the tornadoes, such as providing food, shelter and medical care/supplies. If you would like to donate with your credit card, please call 816-842-7444.

- Convoy of Hope's disaster response team has been in contact with emergency management officials to determine how best they can assist with responding to the disaster. The first truckload of essential supplies such as water, snacks and ready-to-eat meals was transported this morning to the Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. More supplies will be following as Convoy of Hope works with local emergency officials to determine what locations and products will best serve the response. Those wanting to help can make a secure online donation at or can make a $10 text donation by texting the word, CONVOY to 50555. Standard message and date rates apply.

- The Salvation Army is providing emergency relief services to survivors and first responders of the Joplin tornado. The Army has mobilized four feeding units in impacted areas of the city and are offering food and beverages. The organization is also providing relief services in other impacted cities that were hit by tornadoes over the weekend, including: Minneapolis; Reading, Kan.; and Grove and Ketchum, Okla. There are four ways to help:

  • Text the word "Joplin" to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY – Joplin Tornado Relief
  • On-line at:
  • By mail: Send your check to:
    Joplin Tornado Relief
    The Salvation Army
    3637 Broadway
    Kansas City, MO 64111

- Red Cross emergency response vehicles are already responding in Missouri, helping to transport supplies to the shelter. Those who want to help people affected by disasters can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

- World Vision's disaster response director arrived in Joplin today. The organization raised its tornado response appeal to $5 million to meet additional needs in Missouri and Minnesota. To support these relief efforts, text TORNADO to 20222.

- From Feeding America, here is a link to a list of food agencies that are helping the hungry in this tornado-striken region.

For additional information and resources to help those effected by the Joplin tornado, visit Facebook.