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Ireland sends help to tornado victims

MOORE, Okla. – People around the world watched Oklahoma tornadoes tear apart communities, destroy homes and take lives.

Touched by the tragedy, Evert Bopp sent his rapid response disaster communications team to Highland Baptist Church in Moore.

“I was actually on my way back from Dublin to Galloway where our headquarters are and I was following the news and I kind of decided, you know, it looks like we might be needed there.”

The non-profit organization has helped with disasters like the Haiti earthquakes and Hurricane Sandy.

Now, they’re adding the May 2013 tornadoes to that list.

“It’s just another way to love on people and help them if we can,” Pastor David Evans said. “We’re blessed to have partners from all over the country and now Ireland, around the world.”

Coordinating the work from Ireland, Disaster Tech Lab sets up internet cafes in devastated areas.

Victims can use free computers and WiFi, internet access, and phone lines to check e-mail, apply for FEMA aid and get in touch with family.

Disaster Tech Lab sent their equipment to Oklahoma and uses local volunteers to set up the internet cafe.

This teamwork stretches across continents and time zones.

Bopp said they’ll be here for as long as they’re needed.

“Unfortunately, last Friday, it looked like the need for our services had quieted down a bit but then we had another five tornadoes, so we kind of expanded our area of operations through the greater Oklahoma City area,” Bopp said. “It looks like we’ll be there for another while.”

Bopp said he hopes to come to Oklahoma in the next few weeks to be able to help in person.

If you want to volunteer or donate, go to disastertechlab.org or find them on Facebook.

The internet cafe at Highland Baptist Church will be open for at least the next two weeks.