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may 05 2011

The Tornado Recovery Effort needs you

(Courtesy Vivanista1/Flickr)

Just a week after a series of tornadoes ripped across six southern states and killed hundreds of people, the ongoing story or mourning, repairing lives and sifting through rubble has disappeared from headlines. But there's still a huge need for support in the massive recovery effort, noted president of the Southeast Tourism Society Bill Hardman.

"The devastation in so many communities across the southeast has been heartbreaking," he said, noting that many of the region's visitor bureaus had staff or board members who had either lost property or were killed in the storms; in Georgia, the past chairman of Atlanta's Convention & Visitors Bureau was killed when a tornado demolished his home. And more than half of the total casualties occurred in Alabama, where National Guard troops were deployed to help with recovery.

So what can you do? Start by staying online right now, visiting one of the many sites that have been set up to help wrangle donations and volunteers, and pledging your support. The Southeast Tourism Society is keeping a constantly evolving page of links to emerging relief organizations, including the American Red Cross, Recover Tuscaloosa, and Mississippi Disaster Recovery. Give what you can. Because everything helps.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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