On 20th May 2013, a devastating tornado of maximum force hit the town of Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people (including seven children), destroying almost 13,000 homes and significantly affecting more than 33,000 people. Shortly thereafter, on Friday, 31st May, several other tornadoes hit Oklahoma City, killing another nine people, injuring hundreds more and creating additional damage and significant flooding in the area. While the U.S. is hit by more than 1,200 tornadoes each year, only 60 such ravaging, maximum-strength, class EF-5 tornados have been ever recorded in the U.S. since 1950. The second storm toppled cars, destroyed homes and brought heavy rain and hail, with floodwaters topping 4 feet in Oklahoma City.
All Sathya Sai Centres in the South-Central Region of the USA sprang immediately into action by providing food and basic supplies to the needy and travelling to the affected areas to render help and solace to the tornado victims. Dozens of Sathya Sai volunteers participated in the relief work in Oklahoma City, by helping to receive, organise and distribute relief supplies, aid in the clean-up efforts and in other ways assist the disaster victims. The SSIO of USA coordinated relief efforts from other parts of the country, and Sathya Sai devotees continued the cleanup and restoration efforts. Currently, the SSIO is working with a needy community of about 80 homes and 320 people who lack resources to rebuild their homes. The SSIO is helping to reconstruct houses, design a permanent water purification system and provide for a more robust electric supply to this community.