Hundreds of miles from Hampton Roads, communities in the Midwest are dealing with an unimaginable tragedy.
“There’s large-scale devastation and it’s probably hard to comprehend if you don’t see it,” says Chief Patrick Seigh, program manager of VA Task Force 2.
That’s why despite the distance, people locally are being called on to help.
Virginia Task Force 2, a search and rescue team organized by FEMA, has already sent four people from Virginia Beach.
As soon as they got the call last night, they rushed to get flights and are already on their way to Oklahoma City.
“Within four to six hours, they’ve got to be out of their home at a moment’s notice so it could have a significant impact on you if you’re a family person but that’s what these guys are signed up to do,” Chief Seigh says.
They’ll be helping with logistics and acting as liaisons between FEMA and the local governments.
Operation Blessing, an international non-profit based out of Virginia Beach has also sent support and supplies.
And even local businesses are taking action.
One of Melissa Hauser’s employees at Tropical Resort Tans just moved to Hampton Roads from Oklahoma a few months ago.
“We immediately thought about her and her family and whatever we could do to help, some way, somehow,” Melissa says.
She’s donating part of today’s proceeds to the Red Cross and asking people to drop off donations.
They’ve already had customers step up to help and she’s hoping for even more after seeing what people in Oklahoma are dealing with.
“We just saw the massive amount of devastation, saw the children running out from the rubble, saw the parents looking for children and right then and there was nothing more important than to try to help,” she says.