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How Oklahoma Tornado Affects Locals

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RENO, Nev. -- As the aftermath of this massive tornado continues to tear through Moore, OK, neighbors in Northern Nevada are looking for ways to help.

Even though Reno is about 1,500 miles away from Oklahoma, the tornado hits close to home for Coleen Denson.

She has made contact with one of her cousins in Oklahoma, but is still waiting to back from more family members. As the death and injury toll rises, it's easy to feel helpless, but there are ways locals can lend a helping hand in the relief.

"I'm just really really worried about them because I can't get through, she said.

She has a lot of family in the area where the tornado hit, but has only heard form a cousin over Facebook. With power lines down, it may be the only tool victims can use to connect with loved ones.

"I was thinking about mike and it was really weird. I opened up Facebook today and he goes 'well old lady, just wanted to let you know that I was okay, things are fine, family's fine, house is gone, dog didn't make it.'" she said. "It was like he was reading my mind."

With no immediate family living, Denson remains close with her cousins and great aunt.

"I'm pacing a lot because I want to hear from my aunt more than anybody because when you hear from her once a month but when something like this happens it makes you nervous."

It has many local feeling helpless. Volunteers from the local American Red Cross chapter are waiting for a national response request.

"We have people who can deploy 2 to 3 weeks so we kind of let them know that there's a possibility that national might be asking them to go," Charlotte Garber, Emergency Service director said.

As of now, the local chapter has about 300 volunteers and 125 members who are ready to respond nationally.

There are several ways you can help, like donating. The Red Cross has set up a fund for victims in Oklahoma.

By phone, call 1-800-REDCROSS (733-2767).

Online, go to redcross.org.

Text "REDCROSS" to 90999.

All that money goes straight in the disaster fund. Red Cross volunteers say, it's one of the most important things people in Northern Nevada can do to help at this time.

"I haven't turned the TV off and i see it on Facebook...and I do say that it's very hard when you have family there that you worry especially when you can't hear from them," Denson said. I just need to hear to make me feel better.


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