Tornado Outbreak Widespread, Stunning

According to tornado prevalence maps, Nashville, where I live, may not technically be in Tornado Alley, but we are, in the jargon of real estate, “Alley Adjacent.”
While my hometown was unaffected by the recent tornadoes, we were considerably affected by the storms – lightening, thunder, flash flooding, school closures, and gripping attention to weather underground/acuweather/and the American Red Cross tornado app. Friends called friends to make sure that everyone was ok, and we all referenced the strange color of the sky, the smell of the earth and air mixed together, and the intensity of the storm. We know that across the nation, tornadoes, or violently rotating columns of air, kill about 70 Americans and cause $400 million in property damage annually.” (CDP Tornado Insight).
050214_tornado-alleyIn this week’s outbreak of storms, Mississippi alone reported 43 tornado touch downs over a two-day period. FORTY-THREE. I admit to being stunned by that figure. In total, there were 11 states affected by tornadoes and flooding. That means hundreds of individuals were affected and scores of homes or buildings were damaged or destroyed. My sincerest thoughts are with all of the towns and families that were affected by the storms.
CDP is monitoring the storm situation and keeping a close eye on the immediate relief needs. Information on the relief effort, organizations involved in immediate relief, and foundations that are working to effectively raise and disperse funds can be found on our disaster profile (LINK). Not only is our disaster profile a useful resource to learn about the needs following the storm, but it is also filled with recommendations on how to take action.
CDP also maintains a 24/7 hotline: 206-972-0187. Please call us should you wish to learn more about how you can help support the needs of flood and tornado affected communities. We’d be happy to assist you.
As part of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s commitment to encouraging the philanthropic community’s dedication to medium- and long-term recovery, we have activated our CDP Disaster Recovery Fund. While CDPs current focus is on understanding and spotlighting current needs following this past week’s storms, we know from past experience, that recovery efforts take a long time. Our Fund takes that long view – emphasizing collaboration, learning, and the support of vulnerable populations across the full lifecycle of need. To learn more, read about our Fund .
You may wonder why we activated our Fund this week. Taken in their totality, this storm system was devastatingly huge. CDP has a mandate, domestically, to highlight catastrophic rapid-onset natural disasters. Screens that we will use to determine if we highlight a disaster and activate our Fund include:

  • Significant loss of life, injury or displacement
  • Significant impact on a community’s livelihoods and capacity to respond
  • Significant impact on vulnerable populations
  • Heightened media attention
  • FEMA Declaration of a Major Disaster

I hope you will take a moment to email me at with your updates – if you are a funder, are you supporting the storm response in any way? And, if you are an NGO, how are you responding?

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