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Fox News Weather Center

How to help: AccuWeather, Red Cross team up to provide relief for tornado victims in central US

Devastating severe storms swept through the central United States in the past week, causing widespread property damage and killing two.

AccuWeather is supporting the Red Cross to provide relief to those left in the wake of the tornadoes in both Colorado and Oklahoma.

Multiple tornadoes swept through eastern Colorado on Saturday, April 7. An EF2 tornado traveled for 8 miles near Orchard, Colorado, injuring two. The violent storms also produced strong winds and damaging hail.

Several campers were destroyed, but no major injuries were reported. Officials said many were not occupying the campers at the time of the storm.

Violent storms ripped through Oklahoma on Sunday and Monday, causing widespread damage. Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 15 counties hit hardest by the storms.

An EF4 tornado traveled for roughly 9 miles near Katie, Oklahoma, about 70 miles south of Oklahoma City. One man was killed. A second death was reported near Connerville, where an EF3 tornado touched down.

AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist and Storm Chaser Reed Timmer was storm chasing near Katie but stayed put after the storms to check in on those who were impacted.

"When you see tornado damage like this with peoples lives turned completely upside down, it is very motivating as a chaser to keep warning people in the path of these storms, and also to do whatever it takes to help in the rebuilding and recovery effort," Timmer said.

"Oklahomans are very resilient people and they immediately began the cleanup effort. They have a long road of recovery ahead and need all the help they can get," he said.

In Davis, one young man took shelter in a small interior room in his house to wait out the storm. When the tornado had passed, he found himself standing in a mangled heap of lumber that used to be his house.

For these communities, life changed in mere moments.

According to the Red Cross, more than two dozen homes were destroyed in Oklahoma. Red Cross officials moved in to the area in order to provide immediate items of need to those who had been affected.

"Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross provides hope and comfort to people affected by community disasters," Tammie Pech, senior communications specialist at the Red Cross, said.

"Donations are used to prepare for, respond and help people recover from disasters big and small."

The Red Cross uses the donations to provide residents with shelter, mental health support, clean-up supplies and other recovery services.