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Disaster Guide: Ways To Help Or Get Help After Tornadoes

By Matt Goodman, CBSDFW.com
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screen shot 2012 04 04 at 4 49 04 pm Disaster Guide: Ways To Help Or Get Help After Tornadoes

Rockwall County Tornado. (Credit: CBSDFW.com)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On Tuesday, 14 confirmed tornadoes ripped through at least nine North Texas cities.

Now, the region needs help. Whether you were a victim of the violent weather or just want to volunteer or donate, we hope the information below helps you.

RED CROSS DFW

Start with the American Red Cross. First of all, two shelters are currently open:

Lancaster Recreation Center
1700 S. Veteran’s Parkway
Lancaster, Tex. 75134

Tommie Allen Shelter
701 Bonnie View Rd.
Dallas, Tex. 75241

On Wednesday, the Red Cross and CBSDFW raised over $36,000 in 3 hours for relief efforts.

If you want to donate, there are three ways to do so: Call 1-800-REDCROSS; visit this website; or text REDCROSS to 90999. You can find that information on their website, too.

If you want to donate supplies, head to the site and snag the phone number to the nearest Red Cross chapter near you and see what they need.

SALVATION ARMY

A Salvation Army mobile kitchen is roaming the Kelly Elliott area of Arlington and the Salvation Army Community Center in Pleasant Grove is also open. Here are addresses:

Arlington Community Center
712 W. Abram Street
Arlington, Tex. 76013

Salvation Army Pleasant Grove Community Center
8341 Elam Rd.
Dallas, Tex. 75217

AFFECTED CITIES

Anyone who needs additional information from Forney can find it at cityofforney.org.

Information from the City of Lancaster is at lancaster-tx.com.

Kennedale officials are asking for volunteers who can provide and operate small to medium sized equipment such as chainsaws and Bobcats.  For more information, check out cityofkennedale.com.

Arlington has created a page on the city’s website with the latest tornado information at arlingtontx.gov/tornado.

VISIT H-E-B OR CENTRAL MARKET

As reported earlier, H-E-B and Central Market are each accepting customer donations to help tornado victims. Head here for a list of locations ­­­–– if you live in the Metroplex-proper, look for a Central Market. If you live in a surrounding county, H-E-B is your best bet.

VISIT TOM THUMB

Add a dollar to your grocery total through April 15 and it’ll go to the American Red Cross. Every Tom Thumb location in the region is participating.

FOOD TRUCKS HELPING

A few of DFW’s hip, mobile eateries have offered their hand in the rebuilding effort.

As reported by D Magazine’s SideDish blog, So-Cal Tacos is near Arlington and Kennedale volunteering along with The Butcher’s Son.

Enticed Shaved Ice is parked at the Walgreens at Midway and Frankford and is donating all of its sales Wednesday night to the Red Cross.

If you want to help, head to that D Magazine link –– oh, what the heck, we’ll link it again. Just leave a comment to get in touch the food trucks to hand out hot meals and help clean up the wreckage.

INSURANCE INFO

Nationwide Insurance and Allied Insurance have dispatched claim representatives to the region. If you’re a policyholder, call the hotline at 1-800-421-3535.

For those with AAA, visit any area branch or call 1-800-572-5246 for help.

USAA, a leading insurer for military service members, has also sent a gang of their so-called Disaster Experts to help with the tornadoes.

They’ve got claims locations in Arlington at Bankston Ford –– 1400 West Interstate 20 –– and in Lewisville at Huffines Auto, located at 360 Bennett Lane.

They’re open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WATCH OUT FOR PRICE GOUGING

State Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a reminder about price gouging during a disaster.  When the governor declares a disaster, state law makes it illegal to charge “exorbitant prices for necessities such as groceries, clothing, medical supplies, lodging, repair work and fuel during and after the crisis,” according to Abbott’s statement.

Gov. Perry declared disasters in Dallas, Tarrant and Kaufman Counties.

It’s also illegal for contractors to require full or even partial payment from homeowners before starting disaster repair work.

If you think you have seen or experienced price gouging in the disaster area, Abbott’s office runs a toll-free complaint hotline.  The number is 800.252.8011.

PETS

A sad reality of the severe storms is that some of the smallest members of the family come up missing after the weather subsides.

Currently, Fort Worth has six Kennedale dogs. They’re being housed at the Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter. Head here to see photos of the animals and if one is yours, call the city of Kennedale at 817.478.5416.

For those closer to the Lancaster area, visit Lancaster Animal Services at 690 East Main St. They say they’re also in need of blankets, food and bowls.

Its phone number is 972.564.2351.

For those affected near Forney, contact the Forney shelter at 972.564.2351. In Arlington, give Arlington Animal Services a ring at 817.459.5898.

Know of any other ways to help? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section of this article.

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