VIDEO: A harrowing brush with a deadly tornado in Oklahoma

Area resident Deanna Stephens recounts her terrifying experience taking cover — and surviving — as a catastrophic tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma, leaving behind a path of unspeakable devastation. World Vision is on the ground in Oklahoma, providing assistance to families hit hardest by the disaster.

Published May 24, 2013 at 12:00am PDT

After Deanna’s father emerged from the cellar where they had sought shelter as the tornado came through, he returned and reported the devastating news: Everything was gone.

Deanna didn’t believe him at first; she had to go look for herself. At that moment, the scope of the destruction became painfully clear.

“Knowing that where you grew up and that everything you ever had is just in shambles, is just…” Deanna’s voice trails off.

“I keep thinking that this is all just a nightmare, and then I’ll wake up, and it’s all gonna be back to normal,” she adds.

World Vision has deployed an assessment team and an initial round of relief supplies to the tornado-devastated areas of Moore, Oklahoma, where we’ll meet with community members to determine greatest needs and provide assistance to those hit hardest by the storm.

Learn more

Keep up to date with the latest on World Vision’s emergency response in Oklahoma, and read more about how we respond to disasters right here in the United States.

Watch additional World Vision videos from the tornado zone in Oklahoma.

Two ways you can help

Please join us in praying for the families devastated by this terrible tornado. Many have lost everything and require urgent support. Pray, too, for the first responders and aid organizations working to bring emergency care to those left suffering.

Make a one-time donation to World Vision’s U.S. Disaster Response Fund. Your contribution will support our response to the tornado in Oklahoma, as well as other emergencies that threaten lives right here in the United States.