Code 3 Prepares to Help in Moore, OK

Code 3 Associates is making plans to assist in Moore, OK. BART, our Big Animal Rescue Truck, is staged a few hours away from Moore, OK awaiting deployment orders to assist. Pierrette J. Shields from the Longmont Times-Call was at Code 3 headquarters as BART got on the road yesterday.

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Longmont-based animal rescue group heads out to help in Moore, OK
Code 3 Associates to stage near tornado zone to await deployment order

Longmont Times Call
Story Pierrette J. Shields, Photography Greg Lindstrom

LONGMONT — A local animal rescue group hit the road Tuesday afternoon to stage outside of Moore, Okla., to await orders to join the recovery work.

Longmont-based Code 3 Associates is a nonprofit organization that specializes in animal rescue in disaster areas. The Big Animal Rescue Truck left for Oklahoma on Tuesday to get the supplies closer to the tornado-stricken Moore community so they can respond swiftly when emergency managers issue deployment orders.

“What has happened so far is we have been in touch with Oklahoma Emergency Management and, of course, the human search and rescue takes precedence,” said Eric Thompson, disaster response director for Code 3 Associates.

He was also arranging staff to join Mike “Goose” West and BART once it reaches the Moore area.

Thompson said emergency managers deployed animal rescuers to Joplin, Mo., three days after a tornado leveled much of that town in May 2011.

BART — a 2009 White Western Star truck that tows a 53-foot converted moving van — is supplied to sustain the team during rescue efforts, including water needs and sleeping accommodations for up to 11 people, according to the organization’s web site.

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Other agencies are working to raise money to help serve the tornado victims.

Patricia Demchek Billinger, spokeswoman for the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross, said the best way to help is to offer financial support to the responding agencies. Physical donations of clothing and furniture often “pile up waist deep” at disaster sites, she said.

“People mean well, but we see it at every disaster,” she said.

Often people or organizations collect goods and take them to sites, where the presence of those groups can clog roads, take up needed hotel space, and complicate the delivery of services to victims.

“It is not what people need,” she said.

She added that those displaced by the tornado have nowhere to take donations.

“Across the board, emergency agencies will tell you that the best way to help is to give a financial donation,” she said, adding that that money is often invested in the local economy and can help revitalize those areas.

For those who do not want to offer financial help, she suggested waiting a few days before offering physical donations to try to identify any needs. Piles of clothes or other goods are often donated back to organizations, like the Salvation Army.

If you’d like to help Code 3 Associates with disaster response and/or animal related training, you may make a secure, tax-deductible donation by visiting our donation page.

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