A woman cleaning up debris after a tornado in Kentucky
Source: Getty Images

How to Help Kentucky Tornado Victims—Mega Storm Impacted 18 Counties

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Dec. 13 2021, Published 2:49 p.m. ET

On Dec. 10, a severe weather system started making its way through the central and southern U.S. and spawned roughly 50 tornadoes. The storm is responsible for dozens of deaths and devastating property damage. Kentucky was one of eight states where tornadoes touched down and left homes obliterated and towns unrecognizable.

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Michael Dossett, the director of Kentucky Emergency Management, told CNN, “The devastation is quite frankly something that you would see in a war zone.” CNN reported that 18 counties in Kentucky sustained some degree of damage. If you’re looking for ways to help Kentucky tornado victims who are struggling or have been displaced, below are a few ways you can do this.

Here’s how you can send donations to Kentucky residents who were impacted by the tornadoes.

how to help kentucky tornado victims
Source: Getty Images

Given the degree of damage that the tornadoes caused in various parts of Kentucky, many people are looking for ways to give back to people who lost their homes. If you would like to donate to those whose lives have been impacted by the severe weather system in Kentucky, you can do so by sending a donation to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear established the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund on Dec. 11. The fund allows you to send a donation online or by mail. You can donate as much or as little as you would like. All of the donations made to the relief fund are tax-deductible. Anyone who donates will receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Although the relief fund’s website is the quickest way to get your donation in, you also have the option of mailing in a check. If you prefer to donate to the Kentucky tornado victims' relief fund set up by the governor, you will need to make your check payable to “Kentucky State Treasurer” and include the following in the memo line, “Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.”

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If you're donating by mail, be sure to send your check to the following address:

Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet

200 Mero Street, 5th Floor

Frankfort, KY 40622

How to send money to Kentucky tornado victims via GoFundMe fundraisers.

GoFundMe is designed to help people in need obtain funding from donors who are interested in assisting or supporting a cause. GoFundMe has helped people across the globe raise more than $9 billion. There are already fundraisers set up on the website for the Kentucky tornado victims.

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The University of Kentucky College of Medicine created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $100,000. As of Dec. 13, the school managed to raise $85,730. Although GoFundMe serves as a great platform for fundraising, you should be aware of scammers who often try to take advantage of sympathetic individuals who are simply looking to help those in need.

With that in mind, before you make a donation on GoFundMe, be sure the campaign you are donating to is legitimate.

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You can donate to the American Red Cross.

You can also show support for those impacted by the devastating tornadoes that touched down in various parts of Kentucky and other states by donating to the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross has set up a disaster relief fund that allows individuals to donate to those who have been affected by large and small natural disasters.

Similar to how the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund is structured, the American Red Cross allows you to donate any dollar amount and it's tax-deductible. The American Red Cross’ tax identification number is 53-0196605.

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Source: Twitter

What other forms of relief have been established to help Kentucky tornado victims?

More than a dozen counties in Kentucky have been affected by the disastrous tornadoes that touched down in the state on Dec. 10. While some of the impacted areas were resilient, others sustained massive damage. The town of Dawson Springs was one of them.

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CNN reported that nearly 75 percent of Dawson Springs is gone. Dozens of homes in the town have been destroyed and only debris is left. In an effort to help people in Kentucky who have been affected by the tornadoes, the American Red Cross has set up eight shelters, which are said to be “providing relief to nearly 200 people.”

On Dec. 11, President Biden also authorized the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) “to coordinate relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating hardship and suffering” caused by the severe weather system that struck Kentucky. In addition to authorizing the use of FEMA assistance, state parks have also opened up to house families in need.

Many lives have been upended by the dozens of tornadoes that struck Kentucky, Illinois, and several other states. So far, the death toll is said to be around 90, with 105 people still unaccounted for, reports NBC News. Some individuals lost their lives while working in a candle factory that collapsed in Kentucky, while at least six were killed in an Amazon warehouse located in Illinois.

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