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Help Mississippi tornado survivors: pray, donate, volunteer

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and other emergency management officials speak with a survivor of the devastating tornadoes that impacted Mississippi. (FEMA photo)

As Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) assesses needs in the wake of the March 24  devastating tornado in Mississippi, people can help by praying, donating and signing up to volunteer.

We know the needs are great, and we have received messages of compassion from so many people who want to help,” says MDS Executive Director Kevin King. As we work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, we will formulate a response that helps those most in need.”

According to the National Weather Service, powerful thunderstorms swept through Mississippi and Alabama on the evening of March 24, producing multiple tornadoes. There were 20 reports of tornadoes across the two states on that day. Communities in western and central Mississippi were especially devastated by storms after two deadly tornadoes ripped through homes, businesses and farmland.

As the violent tornado moved through Rolling Fork, it snapped trees, ripped roofs off houses and toppled the town’s water tower. The tornado was a four on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale and had wind speeds of up to 170 miles (274 kilometers) per hour. It traveled almost 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast and lasted more than an hour.

Volunteers are asked not to self-deploy at this time to allow emergency response crews to clear safe entry into the disaster area. A local crisis cleanup hotline has been established: 662-200-1659.

If you are interested in serving on an MDS Emergency Response Team as a project director, crew leader, investigator, cook or office manager, notify Josh Carson at Or to add your name to volunteer waiting list, send an email to, and please include your name, address and email address.

To donate, visit and click on the Donate (USD)” link then follow the instructions on the web page. Please designate your gift to 2023 Mississippi Tornado.”

If donors prefer to send a check, mail cash/checks, payable to “Mennonite Disaster Service” with “2023 Mississippi Tornado” on the memo line to: Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Rd, Lititz, PA 17543

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