Birmingham helps those affected by historic tornado outbreak in Kentucky—how to get involved

American Red Cross
There are many ways to help during a crisis, whether near or far. Photo via American Red Cross’s Facebook

On December 10 and 11, a swarm of tornadoes tore a 200-mile path through the US Midwest and South including Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. Here’s how local Birmingham nonprofits are helping those affected by the historic tornado event and how you can help, too. 

About the weather event

American Red Cross
Aftermath of tornadoes in Midwest South in December 2021. Photo via American Red Cross’s Facebook

With more dozens dead and thousands of homes destroyed, the historic tornado event was deemed one of the most devastating weather events in Kentucky’s history.

What caused the disastrous event?

  • Unusually high temperatures and humidity
  • A series of overnight thunderstorms including a super cell storm that formed in Northeast Arkansas that moved to Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Numbers

Screen Shot 2021 12 13 at 11.01.21 AM Birmingham helps those affected by historic tornado outbreak in Kentucky—how to get involved
Kentucky power outages as of Dec. 13, 2021.

According to, on Saturday, December 11, those without power included 99,000 in Kentucky and 71,000 in Tennessee.

According to, As of Monday, December 13 at 10:30AM, these numbers are showing decreased numbers:

  • Arkansas: 2,121
  • Kentucky: 26,935
  • Missouri: 314
  • Tennessee: 8,221

According to a media advisory on Monday, December 13 from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) who is the nation’s second largest power system, power has been restored to more than half of those initially affected by the storm that caused:

  • At least 100 transmission towers and poles to be damaged or destroyed
  • 29 TVA transmission lines to be knocked out of service
  • More than 20 customer connection points to be knocked offline+ more than 250,000 electric users to lose power

Here’s who’s helping and how you can, too:

Red Cross
American Red Cross is asking for blood donations. Have you given yet? Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

American Red Cross

  • How they are helping: “We’re moving as quickly as we can to get our volunteers, supplies and help to the hardest hit areas. With such widespread damage, we know families will need support for weeks to come and the Red Cross will be there.” – Annette Rowland, Regional Director of Communications & Marketing, American Red Cross of Alabama & Mississippi

Salvation Army

  • How they are helping: Salvation Army has set up a disaster relief fund and is preparing to dispatch mobile kitchens that can serve 5,000 to 1,500 meals per day to the survivors and first responders in the affected areas. 

United Way of Central Alabama

How they are helping: United Way of Central Alabama is working with United Way of Kentucky (UWKY) to help families impacted by the tornadoes of December 10 and 11 by raising monetary funds. 100% of donations received by UWKY go directly to recovery efforts.

How you can help: Make a monetary donation.

More places to give:

How are you planning to help the victims of this weekend’s storms? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know.

Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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