In late December, massive tornadoes struck several towns around Dallas and in the North Texas area. Eleven people lost their lives and around 1,600 homes were damaged in the destruction with the towns of Garland and Rowlett bearing the brunt of it.
In response to this calamity, Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) joined a coalition of U.S.-based Muslim relief organizations earlier this month to provide over $100,000 of humanitarian aid. The supplies included cleaning materials, hygiene kits, children’s clothing and coats, blankets, and hot meals for the people impacted by the disaster. Volunteer crews distributed these supplies for displaced families and helped to search and clean up the extensive wreckage. Additionally, ZF volunteers were able to provide much-needed information to area residents about obtaining disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of which many people were unaware. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, ZF was able to feed over 200 people and distribute emergency supplies to over 100.
Effective emergency relief from natural disasters is only going to become more important in our warming planet. Current research suggests that climate change could be fueling more frequent and more intense tornado outbreaks, and, with no solution for the issue of climate change in the foreseeable future, ZF and its fellow Muslim organizations will continue rushing to the aid of communities affected by extreme weather events wherever they may be.