Thad Allton/Topeka Capital-Journal
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management has received
notice that the state was granted a declaration for Small Business
Administration loan assistance for Reading, in the aftermath of
the May 21 tornado.
SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters,
businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to
repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and
equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged
or destroyed in a declared disaster.
Residents and business owners were able to apply for assistance
beginning June 1, at Reading Elementary School, 424 First St.,
Reading. Assistance will be available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday
through Friday through June 16.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management Response and Recovery
branch in Topeka will continue to monitor the situation and provide
assistance and support, as needed.
The state incident management team turned operations over to Lyon
County and Reading officials May 26. The regional emergency management
coordinator from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management will
continue to assist local authorities with any requests the state
might need to fulfill.
Demolition of tornado-damaged homes deemed uninhabitable in Reading
began May 26.
Families seeking housing may contact Kansas Housing Resources
Corporation at (785) 296-0081 for information on rental units
available statewide. Most units affiliated with KHRC do require
individuals to meet income guidelines. People seeking housing
may also call (877) 428-8844.
Monetary donations can be made to the United Ways of Kansas Tornado
Relief Fund and sent to 245 North Water, Wichita, KS 67201. Please
write “Reading KS” in the memo line. One hundred percent
of all donations will be sent to disaster victims in Reading.
For more information, contact the United Way by calling 2-1-1.
Material items are also in need. Donations may be taken directly
to the south side of the Reading school. Of particular need are
large tarps, plywood, roofing nails, plastic tub containers, flashlights
and batteries, hand cleaner, paper towels, toilet paper and personal
hygiene items, trash bags, first aid items, including pain relievers
and adhesive bandages, and nonperishable food items.
Cleanup is ongoing in Reading and volunteers may assist with those
efforts. Volunteers should check in at the school or fire department
to notify officials of their presence in town and availability.
Anyone wanting to volunteer or donate items for Reading tornado
victims should call the Reading Elementary School at (620) 699-3827
from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteers should wear appropriate work clothing, including gloves,
comfortable shoes and a jacket or raincoat. Volunteers should
also bring their own rake or shovel. Those bringing chainsaws
are also asked to bring gas, oil, chainsaw tools and extra blades
The American Red Cross shelter was closed Wednesday because no
one was using it.
Electric power has been restored through most of the town and
the boil water advisory has been lifted.
The Kansas Department of Revenue is waiving fees for persons needing
to replace identification and documents lost in the Reading or
other recent storm. Anyone who has lost a driver’s license
may go to a full service driver’s license office and prove
they lived at an address in any storm-affected area by showing
a utility bill, school document or other mail that lists their
address. The department will then replace their license free of
Lost vehicle titles may be replaced free of charge by going to
their local county treasurer’s office. Anyone who lost a
vehicle in the storm may bring their insurance claim to the local
county treasurer’s office and apply for a refund for the
Lost tax returns may be replaced by calling (785) 368-8222.
Storm victims who need to replace lost birth and marriage certificates
should contact the Office of Vital Statistics, in Topeka. An executive
order signed by Secretary Robert Moser is in effect, allowing
for a waiver of replacement fees for victims of the May 21 tornado
The Kansas State Animal Response Team reported that five cats
and one dog have been rescued in Reading and are still unclaimed
at this time. The animals were taken to the Emporia Animal Shelter,
1216 Hatcher St., Emporia. Photographs of the animals have been
posted in the Reading supply distribution area inside the school.
Call (620) 481-4028 for information about the pets.
T-shirt company donates to Reading
INK, located at Gibson Pharmacy, 521 Market, Osage City, will
be selling T-shirts to benefit the victims of the May 21 Reading
tornado. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts until June 3
will be donated to the Salvation Army for Reading relief.
For more information, call Nicole Majors at (785) 633-9764.