The Victims of the Tornadoes Fund administered by the Greater New Orleans Foundation will make grants to nonprofit organizations helping with recovery efforts from the tornadoes that swept through Alabama, Missouri, and the southeastern part of the United States in 2011.
Three days after tornadoes devastated swaths of the southeastern U.S., killing at least 346 people, officials were assessing the toll on housing stock and quickly providing shelter to thousands left homeless. The American Red Cross reported that 1,100 tornado victims found themselves in emergency shelters, the neediest being 700 of them in areas of Alabama. This devastating storm is believed to be the second largest swarm of tornado activity ever recorded.
Recovery needs are short-term and long-term. The grants made to nonprofit organizations from the Victims of the Tornadoes Fund will be strategic and will address long-term recovery needs, many of which are still to be identified. For example, how will children be affected? What will their mental-health needs be? Several years after Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation identified numerous nonprofit organizations that were in dire need of resources for families dealing with trauma.
A month after the catastrophe, rescue teams are still searching for bodies in parts of the tornado-ravaged South.The country's worst natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina is already fading from the public consciousness, pushed aside by national and worldwide news.Officials in Alabama are trying to keep their state's needs at the top of the national agenda.Many say they expect to see a sharp decline in contributions, making it harder to convince donors in a year that the needs are still urgent