(Alexandria, VA) — Islamic Relief USA’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is mobilizing to assist with recovery efforts in Oklahoma, which has been ravaged by a cluster of tornadoes that hit the state and surrounding areas starting May 19.

As many as 26 tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service. Hardest hit is Oklahoma, where severe tornadoes ripped through several countries, destroying or damaging thousands of homes. At present, 24 deaths have been confirmed and injuries abound. The area is still under a tornado warning and conditions are ripe for turbulence. Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) has been asked to again support the American Red Cross in the emergency response efforts.

“I am very proud of all our DART members, who have dedicated themselves to helping our neighbors when they need it most,” said IRUSA CEO, adding, “They are our front runners in responding to the call to provide urgent emergency relief, and through their efforts and the support of the IRUSA community, we reaffirm our commitment to help our brothers and sisters in Oklahoma.”

IRUSA has trained approximately 600 DART members over the last year around the United States, in Disaster Assessment and First Aid/CPR. Shelter Fundamental certified personnel will be needed to support the community during the recovery phase. DART has again partnered with the American Red Cross and will work in concert with other members of the Disaster Response Community locally. Planned outputs include:

  • Utilizing approximately 20 trained and certified volunteers.
  • Supporting the local community affected by the devastating tornadoes in the state by conducting disaster assessments, working in shelters, bulk distribution and rendering First Aid over a 7-day period
  • Assisting the survivors of the tornadoes in the communities in the state of Oklahoma and surrounding regions
  • Representing the positive work that is being done in preparedness to support communities in crisis
  • Continue fostering and strengthening DART’s status as a leading disaster relief organization assisting those experiencing disasters

For more information about the DART team, please visit IRUSA.org.

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Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization with nine consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator through 2012, and subsequent above-average ranking. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. In 2011, Islamic Relief USA programs benefited more than 5 million people in 34 countries, including the United States.

In addition to its high rating on Charity Navigator, Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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