Tornado Relief: Needed or Not? - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Tornado Relief: Needed or Not?

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VILONIA (KATV) -

At 5:00 we shared with you some of the ways people like to help tornado victims that aren't really needed.

So what is needed?

We asked a family hit twice in three years for some ideas on how the rest of us can best help tornado victims.

Their number one request is something we can all do.

"Prayer," says Jason Jobe. "Prayer for our community. Pray for the people that are coming out and helping support us."

First in 2011 and now once again...Jason and Tanya Jobe and their two daughters rode out a tornado in the safe room of their Vilonia-area home as everything outside was being destroyed.

This time was worse. This time they will rebuild somewhere else.

But in the meantime, how can their fellow Arkansans best support them?

What do they need?

"Anything...whether it be prayers, cards, coming out and helping," says Jobe. "It's much appreciated. But the city of Vilonia definitely needs help in this time. And Mayflower as well."

As do a lot of Arkansas communities.

So prayer tops the list...but what else is needed?

#1. Authorized volunteers. Helpers need to sign in at a check point.

#2. Plastic containers are needed to store recovered property.

#3. Diapers, formula and baby food.

#4. Gift cards to help buy new clothes.

#5. Toiletries and towels.

#6. Plastic cups and dinnerware.

#7. Batteries.

But donating to reputable relief organizations is still the best way to help. Organizations like the Red Cross get volume discounts, have delivery systems in place and can best meet the immediate needs of affected families like the Jobes.

If you missed our 5:00 report, here are the top 7 things that really aren't needed right now:

#1. Sight-seers.

#2. Unauthorized volunteers. Sign in and get direction. FEMA funds depend on it.

#3. Bottled water. They have plenty donated already in most areas.

#4. Teddy bears. Sweet thought...but unnecessary.

#5. Used clothing/shoes. Often end up in giant, unpicked piles. Gift cards are always the right size.

#6. Medicine.

#7. Pet supplies. Bags of kitty litter and dog food are heavy and hard on volunteers.

Air date:  April 30th, 2014