Architecture for Humanity, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that teamed up with the New Jersey’s most dedicated “gym, tan, laundry” devotees this past November to help raise funds to rebuild that state’s Superstorm Sandy-battered shoreline, launched a dedicated campaign earlier today in response to the unfathomably violent EF-5 tornado that pummeled the Oklahoma City metro area on Monday.
While the fatalities resulting from the storm are mercifully low considering its devastating power (the energy released is believed to be 600 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima) along with its size and duration (moving along a 17-mile path, the twister itself was more than a mile wide and was on the ground for 40 terrifying minutes), the post-apocalyptic imagery coming out of Oklahoma is surreal to say the least. This is particularly true in the hard-hit (again) city of Moore where entire neighborhoods have been razed; communities wiped completely off the map; homes, businesses, and schools reduced to piles of rubble.
With such heartbreak comes an urge to help out. And just like in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and the catastrophic earthquake that ravaged Haiti in 2010, Architecture for Humanity — motto: “Design Like You Give a Damn” — has sprung into action with the Rebuild Moore campaign. Like with past and current programs, the goal of Rebuild Moore follows Architecture for Humanity’s overall mission to provide “design, construction and development services to communities in need” while “building a more sustainable future using the power of design.”
According to a press release issued by Architecture for Humanity, the organization has already mobilized in Oklahoma and is “working with local and regional construction professionals to begin assessments and support rebuilding work … " The details of a long-term reconstruction plan have yet to be published but I’ll update this post as soon as I learn more about them.
Architecture for Humanity focuses on helping communities beyond the relief phase of disaster. The agency is currently working on rebuilding efforts post Superstorm Sandy and rebuilt in communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. Architecture for Humanity is mobilizing to assist in long term-reconstruction to help rebuild Moore and the surrounding communities. The agency works to incorporate resiliency and disaster mitigation strategies, leaving communities safer and stronger than before.
Adds co-founder Cameron Sinclair: “After the Haiti earthquake students from Moore West Junior High raised funds for the organization to help rebuild schools for displaced students. Our thoughts are with the entire community of Moore, OK and those affected.”
Designated donations to the Rebuild Moore campaign – along with Architecture for Humanity’s ongoing work in Japan, New York/New Jersey, Haiti, and beyond – can be made here. Or, you can text 85944 (keyword: rebuild) and donate as well. The minimum donation via text message is $10.
As always, an impressive 85 percent of funds donated to Architecture for Humanity go directly to construction and design services while the remaining 15 percent covers administrative costs and outreach.
It's also worth mentioning that the city of Joplin, Mo., a city that's no stranger to rare and destructive EF-5 tornados, has dispatched teams of public safety workers to Moore as residents begin the long process of digging out and moving on. As far as I know, no circus elephants are on the scene.