Donate! Volunteer! Advocate! Here’s How You Can Help with Derecho Storm Recovery

A few weeks ago, many of us had never heard of a derecho.

Now, the Iowa City community has learned that vocabulary lesson all too well, with 100+ mile per hour winds rolling through, leaving mass destruction behind. If you need help with clean up or aid resources, we’ve compiled a round-up of storm resources for residents in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty.

Derecho storm aftermath

If you’re getting back to normal and your “Iowa nice” is kicking in, our neighbors in cities hit harder than ours could really use our help.

Not sure where to start? Here is a list of groups that are providing emergency supplies, clearing debris, supplying food, and generally trying to get people back to normal (whatever that means in 2020 — seriously!). 

Consider donating, volunteering, or advocating on behalf of our greater eastern Iowa community.

Whatever way you choose to help, it’s going to make a difference.


Support General Disaster Relief 

Support Meal and Food Resources 

Support Families with Infants and Toddlers 

Support Animals 

Support Schools 

More than 30 schools in Cedar Rapids were damaged in the storm. The district needs support.

Advocate 

Tell our elected leaders that Cedar Rapids and eastern Iowa need FEMA support following this major disaster. We may be “Iowa strong” but we shouldn’t have to do this alone!

  • Call Gov. Kim Reynolds: 515-281-5211
  • Call Sen. Chuck Grassley: 202-224-3744
  • Call Sen. Joni Ernst: 202-224-3254
  • Call Rep. Abby Finkenauer: 563-557-7789
  • Call Rep. Dave Loebsack: 202-225-6576

If you’re reading from outside Iowa and want to help advocate, you can call the United States Capitol Switchboard and an operator will connect you with the senator for your state: 202-224-3121

If you’ve never called your legislators before, it’s pretty simple and usually takes just a minute or two. Here’s an idea of what you can say:

“Hi, my name is _______, and I’m a constituent who lives in ___________. I’m calling because I’m really concerned about the struggle to rebuild after the derecho in eastern Iowa. Can you please tell the Senator/Representative that I’d like them to push for FEMA support for our community?”

The person taking the message will thank you and tell you that they’ll pass on the message and you’re done. Quick and easy!

If you didn’t find what you were looking for here or want to connect with individuals to find out what they need, check out the Iowa Derecho Storm Resource Facebook Page, where thousands of community members are coming together to help each other and find the resources they need. 


Did we miss any area organizations providing aid? Tell us in the comments! 

Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.

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