Tornado relief: How to help

A Red Cross relief truck brings food and drinks to workers as they clean-up after a tornado left a path of destruction in the Harvest area on the same path that an F5 tornado left destruction on April 27, 2011 on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Athens, Ala. AP Photo/Butch Dill

For those seeking a way to help the survivors of this week's tornadoes, FEMA suggests making donations to members of its National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) partnership, with provides a list of affiliated relief organizations and local chapters. Information can be found on FEMA's blog and on the partnership's Facebook page.

Many local governments and voluntary agencies, such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, are providing shelter to disaster survivors displaced by the storms.

FEMA suggests cash donations are the best way to help relief groups. Below is a list of some non-profit agencies and the different ways one can contribute to those in need:

By texting:

-- Sending "REDCROSS" via text message to 90999 will charge $10 to your next cell phone bill to distribute to the American Red Cross.
-- Sending "STORM" via text message to 80888 will charge $10 to your next cell phone bill to distribute to The Salvation Army (You will need to reply "yes" when asked).

Online:

-- The American Red Cross' web site offers a search for local Red Cross chapters: redcross.org/where
-- In addition, you may check with churches and food banks in affected communities to find out about specific local needs.
-- Feeding America, a group that works with food banks, offers lists of local food banks and contact information searchable by state or zip code: feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx
-- The Salvation Army can be reached here: donate.salvationarmyusa.org

By phone:

-- The American Red Cross can be reached at (800) RED CROSS (800-733-2767).
-- Feeding America can be reached at (800) 771-2303 (National Office).
-- The Salvation Army can be reached at (800) SAL-ARMY.

By mail:

American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 100339
Atlanta, Ga. 30384-0339

Survivors Safe and Well List:

The Red Cross' "Safe and Well" registration page allows survivors to notify family members, and for family members to search a list of those who have registered on the site.

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