By now y'all have heard about the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. That's a few hours away from me, and my loved ones and I are all okay. A lot of people in Joplin aren't able to say that. My heart goes out to those folks. If you're inclined to pray, please say some prayers for the folks affected by these tornadoes, and for some very special people who are often forgotten when disasters happen: emergency services personnel. These men and women are maintaining calm and professional demeanors in the face of devastation. I have all the respect in the world for them. If you want to hear just how bad things are down there, give a listen to Jasper County law enforcement radio traffic. It's heartbreaking. (Warning: It's a live radio feed, unedited, and some of the things you might hear are disturbing.) The fire department I work for sent our Heavy Rescue Team down there Sunday evening to rescue and recover victims of the tornado who are in collapsed buildings. From what I'm hearing, my boys are walking into hell on earth. Please say a prayer for them, too.
If you live in the Joplin area and want to let your family know you're safe, or if you have loved ones there that you're checking on, please go to the Safe And Well page of the Red Cross website.
If you are a medical professional and want to help the victims of the Joplin tornado, please register at Show Me Response and they will contact you if you're needed. Jasper County officials are asking people not to self-deploy. Please wait to be contacted before responding.
Want to donate money to the Red Cross for victims of the Joplin tornado and others? Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 or donate online at http://www.redcross.org/.