May 26th, 2011
12:20 PM ET

After the chaos: Digging through the damage, searching for the missing

Officials will release a list of 232 people officially reported missing or unaccounted for following the tornado that destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri.

View the list (PDF)

"Our goal is to get that number to 0," Andrea Spillers, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety said Thursday. "We will dedicate as much state resources as needed, around-the-clock, to make sure all of those family members that have loved ones that cannot be found are connected."

Authorities urged residents who may have been reported unaccounted for to let officials know they are okay by calling following number: (417) 895-6868. Those needing to report someone missing to law enforcement should call (417) 659-5464.

The release will come as frustrations and worries continue to mount in Joplin, where 125 people died and a large group of people remain unaccounted for, following the storm. As those hit the hardest struggle with the loss of homes, lives and entire livelihoods, many in the town simply are trying to figure out if those they know and love survived the tornadoes. Families have made public pleas to the media, on Facebook, Twitter and wherever they can in hopes of finding any information about whether their loved ones survived the devastation.

The destruction in Joplin was part of a wave of several powerful storms that battered the nation's heartland this week. The tornadoes just kept coming and coming, bringing death, destruction and four days of fury to the Midwest.

These storms flattened whole towns and separated families. The images are devastating. There are many people in great need of help - for their families and in finding those missing from the storms. Below you'll find their stories and how you can help them.

In the days after the storms our reporters saw the destruction firsthand and heard unbelievable tales of both survival and heartbreaking tales of missing people.

And you brought us powerful pictures and stories, sharing the impact and showing the destruction as you witnessed it using CNN iReport's Open Story.

Powerful stories of survival emerged: people told of how they clung to anything they could to survive the brutal storms. Some hid in freezers, others in their bathrooms with their families, some in shelters built for this specific reason.

On the ground, in all of the areas hit by tornadoes, most of the people say their lives will never be the same. They'll struggle to find a way to move on and to rebuild, and in some cases keep the memory of their loved ones alive.

So if you're looking to help, here are some other ways people and groups around the country are trying to help those battered by the storms unite together and start to recover:

Red Cross: List yourself as safe and well or search for a loved one online or call (417) 659-5464. If you have medical or pharmaceutical emergencies, you can also call the Red Cross at (417) 832-9500.

Officials said those looking to volunteer can call (417) 625-3543. Those looking to make donations can do so on the Red Cross website or by calling (417) 625-3542.

Facebook has also become a massive platform for those creating virtual message boards to try to find out the status of loved ones. The Joplin Globe sets up a Facebook page to link survivors with family and friends. There's a Joplin Loved Ones page, a Joplin lost and found page, a Joplin Tornado Citizen Checks, a group for Joplin People Accounted for after the storm, a group for those who are missing, and one set up for victims and relief efforts.

And if you're looking to help those in need, we've got all the resources you need.

Post by:
Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • Oklahoma • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Chrissy

    There is a Caley Hare listed, and a Caley Lantz. But it is Lantz Hare, that I know of. I'm wondering if this list still has some revisions that need to be done... I'm sure it's been a long process to try to look over everything.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Linda (Lachine, Quebec, Canada)

    Being a parent myself, My Heart + Prayers go out to all! I Pray that you will find comfort in the fact that HE is with ALL who are missing and that He has a plan for all that don't come back! God Bless !

    May 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glades2

      I agree Linda – good post...

      May 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      And what is the Plan Linda?

      May 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda (Lachine, Quebec, Canada)

      @ Really

      If you REALLY need to know what that plan is...I suggest YOU start saying your prayers now. Divine intervention is nothing to be questioned. And if you are a parent of one of those missing, I am truly sorry and I DO pray that you will find some kind of comfort....

      May 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Armando

      REALLY there is no plan, it's just something Christains say when they don't have an answer to so many questions.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • pj

      uh-huh.... 'he' is a total A $$ hole, if 'he' even exists. What a feebel libe. 'he' has a greater plan...really? Get a grip.

      May 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • heresme

      Armando and pj, some people do believe in God, you know! There is no need to be so acerbic and dismissive. In times like this, a LOT of people rely on their faith to get them through it and find comfort. Just because you feel you are above that you don't have to post things like you did. There is a time and place for such confrontations and this is not it.

      May 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      @Linda... Is this the same GOD as the story with the talking snake and the rib woman? Let's just call it what it was.. mother nature doing what she's been doing since the earth was created 4 billion years ago. If there was a god you should be cursing himn now for what he did to innocent people!

      May 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sal

    We need to pray for these people. Anyone who is posting negative things here (jokes etc) is heartless. Read the list...there are 2 and 3 year olds missing!

    May 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom Penders

      Nice post. Breaks my heart that so many children have been hurt by these storms.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jenn

    A lot of names on this list have already been found, like Hannah Hull.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    The fact that I have to watch an f'n commercial for anything before viewing this news clip makes me sick. Nice move CNN.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Katie and Michael Warner

    We would like All Joplin Mo, residents to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day. May the lord be with you through all the days ahead. We are so sorry that this happened to you and we hurt for you and think of you each and every minute of each and every day. May God give you the strength to get through this horrible, tragic and scarry time May God Bless each and every one of Joplin's residents.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jim D

    Anderson Cooper, John King and the rest of the CNN crew are doing a great job. I share their frustration with the responsible authorities as to why it is taking so long to ID possible victims or to allow families to assist in the ID of dead or severely injured victims. Andrea Spiller's press statement did not do much to allay that frustration. I do not understand why the appropriate authorities do not come out and state some plain & simple facts: A) Tell us how many dead bodies have been recovered, and of those, how many have been positively identified? B) How many victims are injured and currently being treated in medical facilities, and of those, how many have been positively identified? C) Of all those dead and injured that have not been identified, what steps are the authorities taking to expedite that process and assist the victim's families? I realize this is a catastrophic disaster, but even in the aftermath of 9/11, it seemed like authorities were moving & communicating with the public much faster than this.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glades2

      I understand what you are saying, however, just 2 days ago in my own job I had to review photos of a man in his 20s who had been crushed, and know how stressful that is to the eye and mind, and I'm sure the thinking is that it'd be far worse for family members to have to look at many individuals with the hope that one of them might be their loved one, versus waiting for officials to have enough information available for them to be able to view what might be the right person they are looking for...

      May 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Glades2

    Thanks to the CNN IT folks who are reviewing posts here, though sad that they have to monitor comments even for something as tragic as this – no doubt if this happened to the ones who are being thoughtless they'd think differently...

    May 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. delia rodriguez

    Can we all get along?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda (Lachine, Quebec, Canada)


      May 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sadfor HareFamily

    RIP Lantz Hare....was hoping for a better outcome. Prayers for your sweet family during this terrible time.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. UmmDuh

    Still making the tired Bush insults? Your boy Obama is once again absent, perhaps he doesn't have a clue where Missouri is either...

    May 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dom

      Obama will be there tomorrow..dopey

      May 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • angie

      Dom....he won't be there until Sunday......FYI

      May 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Connie

    why aren't heat senors being used to look for the living?

    May 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • amethystjojo

      I thought the same thing. Many fire depts have these infrared cameras and other high tech equipment. Time to pull out more sophisticated equipment.

      May 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. delia rodriguez

    naggy people... you see the storm and you still don't kneel down. what we need to do is pray instead of criticizing

    May 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dom

    I am a tea party guy...I hope my taxes don't go with all these tornadoes in the south

    May 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. leeintulsa

    They found 3 yr old Ryan dead in the lake this morning.:-*

    May 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
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