READING, Kan. - Following up on last night's trip to Reading to check on a client, I accompanied my neighbors, Clyde and Carolyn, in a return visit this afternoon. For those who want to help, check in with the Highway Patrol who are monitoring Interstate 170 both east and west of town. They provided us with a piece of paper that asked for your name and which resident you were intending to assist. The police also ask that you provide a phone number (but I couldn't get cell service anyway) and leave by 6 pm.
Updated 8:32 pm: OK, it seems I was mistaken about volunteers being able to just drive to Reading and check in with the cops. Mike Dorse,y who's in charge of the Lyon County Community Organization Active in Disaster, indicates that all volunteers need to check in at the Lyon County Extension Center (that's on west Highway 50) at 9:00 am to board buses to Reading. He says that if anyone goes in alone then they will be turned away.
Most of the town has been effected.
Of greatest need appears to be clearing trees from yards and stacking the debris by the side of the road. Just ask anybody you see if they need help and then pitch in. The Salvation Army has a mobile kitchen that is going around town giving out sandwiches and drinks. We ran into a couple of guys from the Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas who thought we were residents and were offering water and counseling. I'm sure that my wife and Prof. Nancy Albrect of ESU will offer to partner with the Salvation Army or some other organization to provide Art Therapy for the town's children which they initiated after the Chapman/Manhattan, KS tornado.
Biggest takeaway from my perspective was how poorly the few mobile homes in town faired compared with the site built homes.
Here's a link to a story from the Emporia Gazette newspaper.