How to help those affected by the Iowa derecho

As many have not heard, earlier this week, much of the midwest for 700+ miles from North Dakota to Iowa to Chicago and onward experienced a derecho. A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms– it is basically an inland hurricane. Winds reached over 110mph.

Chicago was affected, and there was even a reported tornado that touched down on the Northside of the city. However, Iowa was hit hard. Many are still without power, food, and gas, homes and businesses are severely damaged or destroyed, and cellular services are poor, millions of acres of crops have been lost or damaged– all amid the pandemic.

The news and media are giving this little to no coverage, unlike when hurricanes hit and immediate help and assistance is offered. The people of Iowa had no time to prepare for this storm, either. There is so much loss. I have family and friends in the immediate area who have shared how much of a need there is for assistance & volunteers throughout the community and state. Let’s step up to help if you’re able!

Information & ways to help:

City of Cedar Rapids Storm Response: Information & Updates

  • Shelter & Meals
  • Where to find electricity access for medical needs
  • Tree & debris removal
  • Report Damage
  • Public Safety & Curfew

Check out this local Cedar Rapids Iowa Derecho Facebook Group— this is a centralized area that tells where the most need is and how you can help or volunteer.

Places to donate & volunteer:

Samaritan’s Purse

Red Cross

  • Looking for canned food, monetary donation

HACAP

  • HACAP will take food donations and has been hosting drives to hand out food to those in need.

Horizons Meals on Wheels 

  • Volunteer or donate for their meals on wheels program

United Way

  • United Way of East Central Iowa is looking for volunteers

Salvation Army

  • Monetary donations to support relief efforts

Iowa Giving Crew

  • Accepting donations for food, shelter and cleanup efforts.

RAYGUN Shirt 

  • 100% of proceeds go to relief efforts

Iowa Strong shirts

  • Shirt sales by The Shop Forward will give proceeds to recovery efforts.

Cedar Valley Humane Society : Generator stolen, dozens of animals impacted– raising money for a new one

USDA ASSISTANCE FOR DERECHO VICTIMS

Free mental health coaching to victims impacted by the derecho storm

 Businesses in Cedar Rapids Helping Local Derecho Victims

County supervisor holds food drive to help Linn County derecho victims

Iowa farmers assess losses after derecho storm flattens cornfields, destroys grain bins

Midwest derecho devastates Iowa corn crop. Satellite imagery shows damage

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