NADA Foundation Mobilizes Emergency Relief to Help Victims of Oklahoma Tornado
McLEAN, Va. (May 22, 2013) - The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation moved quickly Tuesday to inform dealership employees affected by the Oklahoma tornado that financial assistance is available through its Emergency Relief Fund.
"We already know of nearly 60 dealership employees who have suffered either total loss of their homes or significant damage," said David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs.
The greatest destruction occurred in Moore, a suburb of 55,000 south of Oklahoma City. The massive tornado killed at least 24 people, including nine children, and injured more than 230. The National Weather Service described it as a top-of-the-scale twister (Enhanced Fujita Scale 5) that stayed on the ground for 40 minutes, with winds of at least 200 mph. This is the first EF5 tornado this year. It left an area of about four square miles devastated, with entire blocks of houses flattened, widespread power outages, lack of water and phone service.
Peter Hodges, president of the Metro Auto Dealers Association of Oklahoma City, said its charitable foundation began distributing checks Tuesday to some of the dealership employees hardest hit by the tornado. "But we will soon run out of money," he said. "I have also distributed information to let the employees know how to apply for financial assistance from the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund," he added.
NADA will continue to work with the state and metro dealer associations to notify dealers and their employees that financial assistance from the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund is available. Employees can apply directly to NADA for emergency assistance or dealers can apply on behalf of their affected employees.
The Emergency Relief Fund is also providing financial assistance to dealership employees affected by the recent explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant.
Last year, after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, more than $500,000 was distributed to 700 dealership employees. Since the fund was established in 1992, more than $5.4 million has been provided to nearly 8,500 dealership employees in need.
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About the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation
The NADA Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Funds contributed by new-car and -truck dealers and friends of the industry provide financial support to schools, private colleges and universities, emergency disaster relief and other community service programs. For more information, visit www.nada.org/charitablefoundation.